Friday, 30 November 2012

Home for the Holidays.

It's official,  my flights are booked, and I'm heading home for the holidays! 

I couldn't be more excited, but I would like to put in a little request...

Is a White Christmas too much to ask for?


Tonight I'll start my snow dance by heading to Hyde Park for the annual 'Winter Wonderland'. 
While others skate, I will drink mulled wine...and hopefully document the occasion (until I can no longer do so). 

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Samantha French.

For those of you who don't know, my cast is off (short lived, I know), as my foot was causing me more discomfort and soreness in the cast than when it was out of the cast. I am back in the moon boot, and I never thought I'd be so happy to see that thing again. Words cannot describe how unhappy I had been crutching around London the last few days in the rain. I'm not sure I truly knew how glum I'd become, until I witnessed how stupidly gleeful I was when the cast came off.

I would like to go on record (I'm certain I'm not the first), to say, London is not the most friendly city for those with physical set-backs.

I'm almost certain (very certain...okay, quite positive), I found myself in tears at least once a day every day during my short lived stint on crutches. Mostly out of pure frustration. I'm in a new city, completely reliant on my own two feet, and one isn't working. I have a commute to school that involves and 12 minute power walk (when on good feet), just to get to a train station with no lifts, and now I had to crutch that distance. Groceries were now an impossible task (one that S quickly took on), and bathing now happened every other day. Gross, I know, but I couldn't shower, and our bathtub was lacking a ledge to place my leg on the right side. Washing my hair became an extreme ab workout.

On Monday I hobbled all the way back to the hospital for the third time (hands raw, and soaked from the rain) to have them tell me they couldn't see me and to come back the next day. Tears. The nurse handed me a paper towel, and tossed me back into the waiting room. More tears. That same day, I got off the train, got partially through the station gates (crutches only), only to have them close on me, trapping me, and my school bag, until the station attendant could free me. Yes, tears.

While most of my tears manifested themselves out of frustration, there was also the issue of not being able to exercise. When the cast came on, I could no longer swim (the only thing I'd been able to do prior to).

When the Dr. put me back in the boot yesterday, he also ok'd the pool.

And that is the first place I went this morning.

Although frustrated that I can't run, I've actually really enjoyed swimming. There's a calm that sweeps over me the second my face goes in the water. I also find I'm completely mesmerised by the light flickering through the bright turquoise water. When I see this underwater world through my goggles, I constantly think about painting it, but I don't think I'd know how. For this reason, these paintings by Samantha French really spoke to me. I'm completely jealous of her work. It captures exactly how I feel in the pool.

from here.
from here.
from here.
from here.
Aren't they absolutely beautiful?

To see more of her work, visit her website here.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Delicious Lemon Cookies.

I found this yummy cookie recipe on Pinterest  (here), and as I absolutely LOVE anything lemon, I had to give it a try. They were delicious. Especially tasty with a cup of Earl Grey tea while watching 'The Holiday'.
No, they don't fall under the new "I can't do any physical activity diet", but hey, I was feeling sorry for myself.

½ cups butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 whole egg
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice**
¼ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoons baking powder
⅛ teaspoons baking soda
1-½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cups powdered sugar

** I didn't find 1 tbsp enough lemon, so I put a lot more (like 2-3 tbsp)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

2) In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. 

3) Whip in vanilla, egg, lemon zest, and juice. Scrape sides and mix again. 

4) Stir in all dry ingredients slowly until just combined, excluding the powdered sugar. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly. 

 5) Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.

6) Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte {not melty or shiny}. Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

After tea, cookies, and my wonderful romantic comedy, it was off to bed, hoping to dream about a handsome man visiting me in a country cottage* 

*although, secretly not, as I'm suppose to create a piece of work for Tuesday's Art Therapy class based on a dream, and having to incorporate a half naked Jude Law into my image might be difficult to explain. Always thinking ahead.

Monday, 26 November 2012

The Neighbourhood.

Today, I've done my best to give you a little taste of my neighbourhood. 
Welcome to Clapham Junction and the very lovely Northcote Road...

Flower Stand, and Cheap and Cheerful Italian to the right.

"Byron" - apparently the best burgers in town (yet to try).

Hamish Johnston - Best Cheese Shop.

Permanent Bread Stall (at the bottom of my road...and they sell cupcakes and pizza)

veggies (Saturday Market)
Great Tapas Restaurant.
Amazing Selection of Beers (as well as stop #1 on "Adam's walking tour of Northcote Road")

neighbourhood gallery

Probably our favourite watering hole.

We are also sandwiched in by two large parks. Wandsworth Common to the South, and Clapham Common to the North (ideal for running- had I not a broken foot. I'm not bitter at all).

Following a stroll in the park, we took our market purchases home and made the best little Charcuterie board one could imagine.

See for yourself...

Yes, Quail Eggs. Delicious!