My morning coffee
I have two cups of coffee each and every morning with my husband before we get started on the hurdy gurdy that is our day. If he is leaving for business on the Guernsey Red-eye i.e. the 7.00am flight we get up earlier than usual just so we have a chat and coffee before he goes. We have a grinder so we use whole coffee beans and grind them daily for the freshest possible coffee. We do have a most beautiful coffee machine; my husband’s other woman, and she’s a scarlet one too, but sadly she is broken so we are making do with our trusty plunger at the moment. Our coffee percolator is far too noisy at 5.00am and we would end up with three little visitors so the serenely quite plunger does the job until I get around to fixing the beloved espresso beast. We were given the beast by my Uncle Jonny and Aunty Vicky. I believe that the story goes: my uncle was owed some money by a business that was in trouble so he was offered this machine, together with the fabulous coffee grinder, as part of the payment. It graced my uncle and aunt's bench top for many years and was much coveted by the extend family until one day he decided to upgrade to a bigger machine. I don't think you could truly imagine my surprise when it was offered to us, however my surprise was nothing compared to the wooops of joy coming from Mr Bee - he loves that machine.
I absolutely love to garden. In our first year in Guernsey, before I had acclimatised, I even gardened in 7*C in a beanie, gloves and a scarf in the fog! Sad but true. I love pouring over gardening books and planning out what plants I’m going to use where. Mr Bee calls it ‘plotting’ rather than planning and he always claims that it means more work for him but I know he secretly loves it. He has become a convert himself as he grew 45 red geraniums for our front wall from seed in the glasshouse this year and umpteen vegetables and herbs. Whenever we move house it always costs us a lot in the garden as I have a rather scorched earth approach to gardening and few plants survive my garden reorganisation. I can’t help it I just have very particular ideas about how our garden should look and anything which doesn’t fit in that plan goes to God.
This is my 'dry' garden i.e. it gets watered infrequently and has some of the worst sandy soil on our house plot.
I know the flowers are not quite in focus but I'm a sucker for a hovering Bumble Bee shot, they are after all our namesake.
The pumpkin vine which self-seeded from our homegrown compost is going well. It is one of those very large varieties used for Jack-O-Lanterns. Our Halloween Jack-O-Lantern lives again!
I have been known to play Christmas Carols as early as October and even put our Christmas tree up in early November; that said I always take it down on Boxing Day. It is the build-up I love, the Christmas Carols, the Christmas cooking, the Christmas shopping for family and friends, spending time together, having friends and family over for drinks and nibbles, the kids helping to decorate the tree, well pretty much anything Christmas related I’m there. We have two 120litre plastic tubs and one 40litre plastic tub solely dedicated to the storage of Christmas decorations (280 litres of Christmassy goodness of the non-alcoholic variety), this does not include the tree or my Dad’s candle powered Christmas Nativity (the heat from the candles spins a propeller on the top and this makes a scene of the Nativity spin around – it really is just magical when all the lights are turned off). I love Christmas so much I have asked for a second Christmas tree for my Christmas present this year. I have a traditional red and gold tree, coupled with various lovely handmade Christmas decorations my children have given me, in the lounge room (my friends here in Guernsey think this phrase is hilarious and tease me about it. They always ask if I am talking about what is in there or what we do. I tell them both, there is a lounge suite and it is in a room and if they so choose they are most welcome to ‘lounge’ upon it, hence Lounge Room, fairly straight forward don’t you agree!). I would like a girly pink, blue and white tree in the kitchen and at last after 10 years of asking for another Christmas tree Mr Bee has finally given in. What home is truly complete without a Kitchen Christmas Tree.
I am a hoarder, make that serious collector, since childhood. Over the last few years there has been absolutely no spare cash for anything other than looking and that is fine as I am a professional window shopper too and can get just as much satisfaction from a day browsing and coffeeing as the actual buying. This was before we moved to Guernsey and I was introduced to UK Ebay. Whooo Baby! Some good stuff there I can tell you. While Mr Bee has not complained (as I never spend more that £15 including postage, on most items) he did ask the other day if I was going to collect anything else. He looked somewhat relieved when I answered ‘No’ as I feel I have more than enough collections now and will only buy the odd piece here and there if I absolutely have to have it. Now how often can that be …..right. If we ever move back to Australia Mr Bee has said he will have a shipping container containing a Porsche and I will have a shipping container full of china; it seems quite fair to me. (Please refer to my sidebar for links to my collections).
I love to cook and have done for most of my adult life. I was always in awe of those people who can just whip something up out of the cupboard with no plan or recipe. As I have gotten older I now realise that this is just practice and that if you take a little time to read a few recipe books, especially all those little hints which you will often find in the front, you can build up a very useful culinary knowledge. Such as: What is the difference between cilantro and coriander? Nothing it is the same plant. Be very, very careful how you use gelatine in your cooking or you will end up with disgusting approximations of elephant boogers. Puff pastry and filo pastry are NOT interchangeable, believe me I know. Writing this has prompted me to count my cookbooks; 95, is that a lot?
I know I have a problem; I have it admit this as it is the first step to recovery they say. In Australia I used to buy Australian Country Style but when we moved to Guernsey I discovered the joy of Country Living and Country Homes; such lovely photos to oooh and aaaah over, good recipes, fabulous holiday ideas and quirky and interesting stories. Recently I have also discovered the joy of Period Living. I sincerely hope I find nothing else to add to my monthly magazine haul. I have even gone as far as to purchase old magazines from seller on Ebay; I especially love the Christmas ones.
So there you have it a little bit of a peak into the workings of the mind of a woman who once thought the words to the Bruce Springsteen song ‘Brilliant Disguise’ was actually a ‘Bridge in Disguise’; and I honestly could not understand why anyone would write a song about such a bizarre subject. Well come on now the man clearly need elocution lessons!
PS I feel I must apologise for my lack lustre photography as I am still battling the dreaded lurgy but I thought blogging might take my mind of the feeling my face is possibly going to explode from sinus pressure. It has worked....blogging and a glass of champagne with my Dad that is.
Have a great evening :)