brightlywoven: (harriet)
It's been a year this week since we first looked at and fell in love with our home. Then, the cherry blossom was in full bloom. This year the blossom was bright in January, so now, we have only a few tufts of pinkness, but we have daffodils and hyacinths and snowdrops and some flolloppy crocuses.  And it is our home. When I open the door I feel safe. When I climb the stairs I find my love.

...Let's go in, and hope a house
built from dirt with man's bare first
has learned a woman's habit
of giving out, and being elastic,

the bowed wall with curve
a little more to let us breathe
and the sloping floor will send
me on my office chair swivelling back
to meet your arms, and love rise
through each plaster pore, irreparable
as damp, and spread its spores
on every joist, invisibly, perpetually
brightlywoven: (diamonds)
 Contracts have been exchanged! We are now legally bound to buy a large pile of bricks, that I remember really really liking when I got to look around it 2 months ago.... Hopefully when we get the keys next Thursday I'll still love it. I'm sure I will. There was a bit of a saga over the conveyancing, which eventually came down to haggling over a $100 cost, which seemed ridiculous, but I can see how people break down a negotiation over irrational things.  However all is now resolved and full steam ahead.

I have a very, very long to do list, but we have a man with a van coming (there are at least 3 companies in this burg with names that feature along the lines of 'man and/with/in van'. Is this a UK thing?) This evening I began gleefully stuffing things in boxes. We're going to need more boxes.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts about my dad and my friend. Father has been forced to run on a treadmill with nary a peep from the heart, so he's OK, just needs is blood pressure a bit lower. Friend is out of hospital, home and cheerful, and seems in good shape, though she has a mandatory month off from saving babies from cancer.

Does anyone know any good packing music? So far I've only got this, which is probably a little sadly reflective...

PPS Any recommendations for good internet providers (especially locally)?
brightlywoven: (biznis time)
 Things are progressing apace. Our survey is done, and T and I have recovered from reading the 40 page report. We have decided that the detail was too much for our little renters' brains, but that eventually we will come to understand flashing and pointing and airbricks and all manner of mysteries. The key point is that the house is Not Falling Down (though there was the odd grave hint about the chimney).

So we have spent a few weekends being the epitome of Smug Marrieds, wandering around furniture shops (John Lewis, Ikea and Habitat, oh my!). OK, this was actually rather fun. And Thwecky joined us for an epic IKEA road trip, in which meatballs played a large role, and in which we learned that the many roundabouts of Milton Keynes will thwart even the savviest of sat navs. We have also spent a surprising number of evenings musing over couches ('sofa' still sounds weird to me) and playing with the IKEA wardrobe builder. Rock and roll.

Now we await the judgement of the underwriters on our mortgage application (I have been convinced, by the attitude of the bank, that two employed professionals with no debt and no children pose an extreme credit risk, and they are likely to ask for for a kidney or two as collateral. Also, I hate having to tick the big box marked 'foreigner' on these things.)
brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (dodo)
I have just had my ass-whupped in scrabble, due in part to exactlyhalf using all his letters with 'gremlins'.

Also, our bathroom is being replastered. An unannounced tradesman arrived on Wednesday, saying he was here to 'fixed the bathroom'. Exactlyhalf happened to be home. Didn't matter if he wasn't though, because college had given tradesman a key. (!!!) Was he here to fix the slightly creepy shower screen that leaks a little? No, he knew naught of this. He was here to 'fix a mark on the bathroom wall. He then proceeded to plaster over multiple bits of the bathroom ceiling/walls that had been, to our eyes, completely fine. Today he came and sanded and painted the ceiling.

Tomorrow at 10 he is coming to paint the walls.

Tomorrow being Saturday.

So this means I have to be up, have showered and be decently attired by 10. On a Saturday. And though I'd be lucky to sleep that late these days, I still object to the necessity on a Saturday for a non-existent problem to be fixed.

To give the college their due, they couldn't phone to warn us, because the phone line doesn't work. They apparently got this fixed for the previous tenants, but since they never bothered using it, they were unaware it still doesn't work. Good to know the college's priority is apparently to fix imaginary wall marks before providing a basic utility!!
brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (daffodils)
3 car trips down, maybe about 3 to go, although the majority of things seem to be in the new place.
Shanith the awesome is here carrying things indefatigably, and now we are about to have some yummy greek deli food to replenish us before tackling the second half of the kitchen.
brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (daffodils) the marriage of true nerds admit impediment.

We are brightening a glummish day with Magic The Gathering and Buddha's tears (jasmine green tea balls made of awesome.) My Serra Angel and her Doppelganger just destroyed exactlyhalf :)
brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (camera)
As we approached Heathrow, the crew informed us that the UK has strict rules regarding the importation of 'meat and filk'[1]. So watch the contents of your music library when you travel!

Home now, we are attempting to become unpacked, ungrotty and to be people with a full fridge. Or at least one with more than a jar of jam and a can of coke in it.

[1] Disappointingly, this was later corrected to meat, fish and milk.
brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (daffodils)
A glorious weekend, in which I
- had a most bracing walk throug the ice puddles to Godstow lock, learning on the way that the Perch 'aims' to reopen in summer
- Finally saw Serenity, while enjoying Wife Soup. Yay River!
- Enjoyed defeating dracula (even if by the end I was getting impatient to start watching Serenity
- Went to the gym twice
- Got my meringue making mojo back just in time for the banquet (mmm, chocolate pavlova roll...)
- Made the most awesome lasagne ever (I roasted my own peppers! I bechameled the hell out of a sauce!)
- Enjoyed the above with just enough cider and wine and good company
- Learned (if you can stretch 'the weekend' to '1pm on Monday) there will be a new Tindersticks album. Album AND tour. Am giddy with glee over this.

Now, back to work!

ETA giddy glee slightly tempered by learning DH has left the group, which means I'll never see him sing 'sweet memory'. *small sob*
brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (daffodils)
Today, not only did I do my working day highly efficiently (including a working pcr with detectable dna product! Yay! Itty bits of C. Diff!), I also
- cycled there and back
- put in 2 hours in the library after work for a presentation I have to give in the teaching session tomorrow
- came home and cooked a proper (ie non-easy pasta) dinner (mmm, lemon rocket risotto)
- vacuumed (OK, exactlyhalf brought Henry upstairs, but I wielded him valiently, including some very dusty skirting boards)
- did some more work on said presentation
- tided my room

I feel the glow of virtue
brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (biscuit)
On Saturday, my meriengue making mojo failed me for the first time ever. My planned 'mini pavlovas' wouldn't hold shape, and the flat pavlova that was my sencond run attempt stuck, squidged and generally failed to come off the baking sheet. After some fruitless attempts to dislodge them, all I had was meringue crumbiness. In desparation I filled some glasses with said crumbs, poured over the cream and added the raspberries that were to adorn pavlova. I was rather happy that the result looked presentable and tasted good.

I was then informed I had made Eton Mess.

Has this happened to others? What you thought was a stroke of brilliance is actually an imitation?
brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (daffodils)
So the big Tesco past the ring road drew us with its siren song, and that, along with the fact our cupboards were bare, led us on an expedition there yesterday. Upon its nightmare shelves, after battling through the hordes of unsupervised children, we found a thing of glory: a cache of Swedish pear cider. Sadly there were only 12 bottles left, so we bought them all.

Now, each time I walk past the cupboard that hides our pear cider stash I feel happy inside.
brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (Default)
Since it doesn't seem tenable (or polite) to keep reading journals or posting using my husband's LJ, I have made my own.

Herewith, due to popular demand, is a recipe for vegan muffins, as made by me for the end of Hilary Taurithon meeting:

Berry Vegan muffins
(This is adapted/stolen from Australian cooking godess Stephanie Alexander's Cook's Companion. Big orange book of love. For equally easy muffins, change the soy yoghurt to actual yoghurt, or use 3/4 cup of milk and 1 egg. They all work)

- 220g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 125g sugar
- 1 cup of soy yoghurt (or see above - berry added yoghurt obviously = more berries)
- 3/4 cup of vegetable oil
- 200g berries (eg blue, rasp, boysen etc. I wouldn't use straw)

Sift the dry ingredients together. Make a well. Mix the wet ingredients. Pour this into the well.
Stir until just combined. Add the berries. Stir once or twice more (muffins much better with less stirring).

Bake in muffin tray at 180 deg for 20-25 min. This makes 12.
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