Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Week 2

I knew I wasn't going to be able to make my Nordic Walking class this weekend (I had scheduled my hangover in), so I made a mammoth effort to go for an hour long walk one lunch time. And I did it.

On Thursday I took a slightly longer lunch break (I made the time up) and drove to Moore Nature Reserve where I Nordic Pole Walked just over 3 miles (3.2) all by myself in the howling wind!
My phone took this. Isn't it beautiful? Pity it was so cold.
I think I could get my time down below 45 minutes if I stopped stopping to take pictures though! I will come back with my camera at some point, walk a bit more slowly and try and shoot (with a camera) some of the wildlife. I think they were sent running by the noise of my poles, and I had my headphones in (I spent the first half hour listening to my teach yourself Norwegian audio-book, and the second half listening to "A Needle in the Right Hand of God", which is about the Bayeaux Tapestry.

Earlier in the week I finished reading my book for the Review Group (not allowed to post a review here, will link to it when it's up on the review group site though), and then I read the first of this year's World Book Night choices, Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death.

I've quite fancied reading MC Beaton's Agatha Raisin books for a while, I've heard good things, but I've always had something else to read, but when I spotted it on the WBN list, I decided the time was right, and I am very glad that I did. It's incredibly easy to read. The writing and the plot just drag you along. It's well paced, and although I read it quite quickly, it never felt rushed, and she portrays the idea of a sleepy Cotswolds village well. I especially loved the references to other detective fiction, especially Agatha Christie books, nice touch. yes, I know it was on television over Christmas, but it's never the same, is it? Anyway, if you haven't read them, and you like genteel detective fiction, give it a go.

I also finally got round to finishing A Christmas Carol. Yay! A review? Really? You know the story, I know the story... if you haven't read it, you should.

I have also been to the cinema again. We managed to see The Imitation Game on Wednesday. It finished at our local cinema a while back, but a few towns over, in St Helens, they have a cinema (and an oriental buffet restaurant) and the cinema there sometimes shows films at slightly different and also their take 2s are different from ours (and also not on a Thursday at 4pm... just sayin'). I'm really glad that we did get to see it. It wasn't at all as I expected, but it was good!

We have also, this year, seen The Theory of Everything (which is also very good) and Taken 3 (have you seen the first two? So you know what to expect, right? Also, Hollywood... so we know who the bad guy is from the title credits, don't we fellow Brits?), We've also (by we this time daughter and I rather than husband) been to see Into the Woods, which other people have raved over, I thought was a bit meh, and daughter actively disliked it. But hey, we're getting the most of our pay monthly cards here! And all three of us went to see Big Hero Six, which is not just good it is Awesome! I know that it's animated, but that just means that the actors can have bad hair days and the animators have to work overtime! Also, if you get to see it, wait for the credits, there's a section called "Production babies" which lists the name of every baby born to someone who worked on the film during it's production - there's a lot, but we loved that they did that and just sat and "ahh"-ed at it. Other than those we're just basically waiting for the Minions Movie, although we'll go and see anything else that takes our fancy when babysitting (or film certificates) allow!

We did manage to organise a Murder Mystery Dinner Party. It went quite well (everyone made an effort to get dressed up, and seemed to have a good time) and I was rather proud of my efforts with the food. 

For Starter we had a Smoked Salmon Souffle, served with a rocket and pomegranate salad and balsamic glaze.

Main course was roasted Partridge, with gratin dauphinoise, steamed veg and a shallot and red wine sauce (recipe from Good Food who attributed it to Gordon Ramsey). I'll be honest, it wasn't the best red wine sauce I've made, I don't think that I reduced it enough.

I couldn't decide what to do for pudding, so I did a selection platter of four mini-puds. There were a lighter mini chocolate tartlet, two chocolate profiteroles, a mini strawberry and champagne jelly and a mini cranachan.

It seemed to all go down well with my guests, I didn't do it (nor did I guess who did though), and I am looking forward to doing another one, but later in the year!

On Sunday, my hangover wasn't as bad as I'd anticipated, but it was nice to have a lie in. Beloved made lunch and then I went to my writing group, where I wrote very little, but we did have a nice catch up after the festive season.

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