If you can’t decide choose both…and then regret it slightly!

Pete’s been working crazy-hard the last few weeks for an exam, so we haven’t had a chance to do a great deal together. The exam was on Tuesday and to celebrate it being over we booked a table at this teeny tiny Italian restaurant in town that’s been doing amazingly well on trip advisor.

We started off with king prawns in a tomato, chilli and garlic sauce for me and buffalo mozzarella and parma ham for Pete. Both starters got a big thumbs up.

Then, to solve my inability to choose between pasta or pizza, we decided to share a seafood pasta and a tuscan sausage and purple sprouting broccoli pizza.

The pizza was a big ‘un! I really enjoyed having broccoli on pizza and the sausage was pretty tasty (just a bit too greasy and sliced a bit too thick if I’m going to be really fussy over the little things).

The biggest let down though…too much cheese! I never thought I’d say that, but Pete thought the same, so it’s totally a real thing….a pizza with too much cheese on!

We split the pasta pretty evenly between us and managed to eat about a third of the pizza each. I was pretty tipsy on the wine by this point though, drowning out any ‘I’ve really eaten enough now’ signals. I casually bet Pete I could finish off the whole pizza. He bet I couldn’t and so of course I took on the challenge, polished off the lot and then followed things up with a scoop of gorgeous chocolate ice cream…

Ta da!

No one saw little me managing that one!

Unsurprisingly, sober and bloated the following morning, I was a little less proud of myself….


Happiness lately…


  • Porridge and raspberry jam
  • The one day it didn’t rain
  • Finishing work an hour early on Friday and going home to read a book with a big mug of tea and a chocolate bar
  • Left over dinner for lunch instead of a ham/cheese/peanut butter sandwich, because ham/cheese/peanut butter sandwiches don’t half get boring at times
  • Baking extra chocolately chocolate muffins
  • Getting out the tea pot and tea cosy for weekend breakfasting….we have the best tea cosy…

Tea cozy

  • Seeing some brilliant coverage come out of one of my press releases at work #chuffed
  • Going to my first Pilates class in about two years. I loved it; my abs, less so
  • Having a table booked at a little Italian in town for tonight and looking forward to it all week. It’s also meant I’ve spent the whole week trying to decide whether I want pizza or pasta…so hard to choose!

A poem I love

My interest in poetry really only took off in my final year at uni.

I’ve always struggled with – and still do – the more obscure, inaccessible stuff; the poems I can read ten times over and still feel completely puzzled by.

I like to be able to connect with a poem from the first read, to be instantly sucked in by the language and to find something in there that I can relate to.

So when I studied early 20th century poetry in third year, it’s no surprise I didn’t get on too well with Pound and Eliot. Instead I fell in love with Edward Thomas, who wrote a relatively small body of work between 1914 and 1917. He died fighting in the first world war.

I find there is a sort of pensiveness about his poems, a hint of melancholy and – at times – muted frustration that resonates with me.

A particular favourite, which I have read over and over again, is ‘Old Man’ – a poem about memory (a frequent theme in Thomas’ poems) and a desperation to remember something just outside of reach.

There’s something in the word order, repetition and rhythm that really draws you into the poem, and into Thomas’ frustration to remember…

…Where first I met the bitter scent is lost.
I, too, often shrivel the grey shreds,
Sniff them and think and sniff again and try
Once more to think what it is I am remembering,
Always in vain […]

I have mislaid the key. I sniff the spray
And think of nothing; I see and I hear nothing;
Yet seem, too, to be listening, lying in wait
For what I should, yet never can, remember:

Old Man (source – pinterest)


The full poem can be read here… Skip on over and see what you think

The things I think about when brushing my teeth…..

I studied English Literature at uni – lots of books, lots of reading. I did pretty well at it. And yet, sitting on the side of the bath the other morning, brushing my teeth and struggling to shake off a thick fog of tiredness I thought: ‘I’m not sure I’m actually all that good at reading’.

Because you see, since Christmas, I’ve been trying to read Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. I’ve made it to page 438 out of 650. The Daily Mail calls it ‘Dizzyingly, dazzlingly good’.

Wolf Hall

But if I’m honest, 438 pages in and I just wasn’t feeling dazzled. Granted there’d been sections that had really captured me, but past the half way point and ploughing on was beginning to feel like a struggle.

Tipping point for me was the evening I took the book in the bath with me. I read a couple of pages, tossed the book onto the floor and made a start on shaving my legs. And then it hit me. I hadn’t the slightest idea what I’d just read about. Not a clue. Continue reading

Lamb and pearl barley casserole

Some things can’t wait.

Like telling you about this casserole before spring comes and things like casserole aren’t so appealing anymore.

The only problem is, I don’t really have any pictures. I hadn’t intended to blog about this casserole (because I had no idea quite how incredibly awesome it was going to be), and I’m not sure I’ll have the chance to make it again anytime soon, thanks to the four remaining portions in my freezer!

So I’m going to have to try and convince you it’s amazing with words instead (and a blurry phone pic). Because, well, I really do feel you need to know about this casserole. Continue reading

The week in pictures

Marzipan Elephants – an introduction

When I try to remember my Nana, the first thing I think of is food. I remember Pizza Express pizza, followed by ice cream, followed by a big bag of pick and mix. I remember the giant bowls of lasagne I always chose at the little Italian we often visited with her. I never failed to polish mine off, deeply rich and gooey with cheese. The restaurant was a shrine to assorted paraphernalia; photos, flags, toys. An eclectic array, even the four Teletubbies were represented, their little stuffed selves hanging from one of the dark wooden beams; purple, green, yellow and red. The owner was as ebullient as the decor, always cheery and chatty. On one occasion he presented me with a little, porcelain faced clown, which I secretly hated, deeply fearful of clowns.

I remember the glass jar of fruit pastilles Nana  kept on the wooden cabinet behind her big blue armchair. Sugar crystaled and multi-coloured, they were the little treasures we could have if we were good. And I remember her chicken casserole, can still recall the smell, drifting from the kitchen into the living room as it baked in the oven, tomatoey and herbal.

And then there were the visits to the patisserie. Every time, my brother and I would search out the tray of marzipan animals in the shop window. We would stand with our faces right up close to the glass, peering in, deliberating over which one to buy this time; the green and yellow snake, the pale pink pig with its tiny curling tail, or my favourite, the blue elephant, with its big ears and curving trunk.

So many days, hours, minutes, moments that I’ve lived through and lost the memory for.

But some tiny fragments stick fast. Certain sights, smells, tastes; little flashes that linger on, shining out, when I try to look back.

And it’s those moments that I want to harbour up here; memories – like those of marzipan elephants – that I want to hold on to.

Here’s one of them – a crisp, bright November afternoon drinking hot chocolate on a beach in West Wales, and then watching the sun set….