Monday, 31 December 2007

reviewing last year's resolutions.

2007 Resolutions
  1. Learn how to drive a manual. 0% achieved.
  2. Run. 70% achieved via this.
  3. Learn another language. 30% (as much as is realistic in one year).
  4. Remember people's birthdays. 60% (getting better).
  5. Become a morning person (get up when the alarm goes off). 0% achieved.
  6. Start a blog. 80% achieved. (Room for improvement though).
  7. Use my passport. 95% achieved. (0% technically, but close enough).
  8. Stop chewing my lip. 0% achieved.
  9. Take more photos (and put them in an album). 10% achieved.
  10. Be less judgemental. 15% achieved. Getting better slowly.
  11. Read new books, not reread old ones. 95% achieved.
  12. Learn to crochet from Nanna. 0% achieved. Hopefully before I go.
  13. Start/join a band. 0% achieved.
  14. Give blood regularly. 0% achieved.
  15. Start another degree or get a more fulfilling job. 5% achieved.
Average = 30% success rate. Not bad considering it's unweighted. 2007 has not been a resoundingly successful year for me, but some important steps have been made, and there's enough to be going on with. Tick.

Sunday, 23 December 2007

hanging in there.

So. I'm afraid this post isn't going to be very interesting, but life is throwing me a crazy jab cross combo, and it's all I can do to roll with the punches. However: it doesn't stop the boring rubbish that I feel compelled to write about piling up, nor this blog guilting me with it's taunting last post date. So. Bear with me.

I mentioned my upstream Secret Pal, Ayumi, but I forgot to mention my lovely downstream parner, Kat. The posts of the parcels I sent here are here, here and here, fyi. I've just finished (yet another) Carla beret with Ayumi's beautiful pink 'sublime' wool, and I think it's going to be perfect for France. The wool is very soft, and not at all itchy, and although it came out a little big (again), I'm going to thread a little elastic through the band which I think will actually make it the perfect size/fit. I'll try and post a photo when I can - my camera has been conveniently left at work for Christmas. If you're desperate (yeah, right), just look at this older Carla and imagine it in a fluffy pretty pink.

I've started running, using these podcasts following the Couch to 5k method (also available on iTunes). It's going pretty well, and I'd really recommend it to anyone who's a bit unfit, doesn't have much time, hates paying for the gym, feels inadequate in sporting teams, and needs structured motivation. The music's a bit meh unfortunately, but it's only for 8 weeks and then you can listen to whatever you want when you're running like the wind. 4 weeks down, 4 to go.

I've gotten a little out of date with my sidebar watching/listening/reading. The Shadow of the Wind is on hold, as I needed something a little less intellectually/emotionally taxing, so I went back to the Thursday Next books by Jasper Fforde.

'First Among Sequels' is ok. It doesn't have the same magic as the earlier books, and it seemed kind of internally inconsistent (if you can take that seriously as a criticism in a work of sci-fi) but it was enjoyable and in no way taxing which was pretty much all I wanted. I'd thoroughly recommend the first book 'The Eyre Affair', especially to literature nerds looking for some light reading, but this latest book was merely adequate. Don't rush out and get it, but if you've read the first four, you can pretty much predict what you're going to get, so you'll probably already know if you can be bothered or not. It's fine, it's just not as good as it could've been, and feels like Fforde just realised he was onto a good thing and decided to churn one more out. Oh well. It did its job.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

chowing down the carbs.

I made this potato salad yesterday. It was actually a Philip Johnson recipe (my favourite) and unsurpringly was very tasty and fresh. It was also super easy (especially since I happen to have lemons, chives and parsley all growing the the garden). Recommended.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007


Look what the postman just delivered! My final secret pal parcel, and much sooner than I'd expected. I opened it straight up, and look at all the wonderful goodies!

From top left:
  • 3 colour mix yarn (grey, pink, pale blue)
  • Make Make variegated raspberry yarn
  • Sublime merino/angora yarn (SO soft)
  • Singapore postcards
  • 60cm/5mm bamboo circ
  • Yellow drawstring bag with embroidered fish
  • Christmas Card and note
  • Monokuro boo pig charm
  • teeny scissors (hee!)
  • Cola and lemon gummy lollies (the wavy pack)
  • little white and dark chocolate puddings (the happy pack)
  • Melon Soda Hi-Chews
  • Apple gummies
  • Pucca pudding biscuit/chocolates (these smell just like Sticky Date pudding I swear!)
I'm such a lucky girl! It's all gorgeous, but I'm particularly excited by the beautful yarns, especially the Sublime which is so soft, and such a pretty colour (the photo left is more accurate). I think my knitting mojo may well be back with materials like these. =)

I also went (a little too?) nuts over this new flavour of Hi-Chews that I've never seen before. The range here is quite limited, so when I was in Japan I made a point of buying every flavour I found, but these are still new to me. They're a bit different from the usual ones because they have little crunchy bits in them. Excellent!

Thanks so much Ayumi, this has been a great swap for me - thanks for being such an excellent pal, and for sending me such awesome goodies!

PS. Ayumi's websites are here and here.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

getting it right, for once.

I just made this 101 Almond Curry, and it was so delicious! I always have trouble with Indian food, because it never turns out as good as I want it to, but this was definitely an exception. Yum-o!

I used only 750g of chopped breast meat (I hate bones) and left out the water, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly (although I ground the spices in mortar and pestle). This one's going straight to the pool room.

I also made a simple salad of grated carrot dressed with lime juice, s+p and a wee bit of coriander: it was very fresh and tasty and complemented the richness of the curry perfectly.