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31st December

2010:

We had our night out last night (and a damned fine ending to the year it was too!). So we just sat quietly at home, as we had done every NYE this century. Reading on the fora that many ex-pats were giving the NYE celebrations in Kusadasi a miss – they said it was cold there. Looking at the weather sites it’s not much warmer there this evening than it is here.

31st December

2012:

Spent the afternoon with some people we met via our Pul Biber blog.  Very pleasant.  Then I cut out some pieces for my next attempt at patchwork.  We are spending this evening with some Canadian people we met here.  We don’t know them well so we hope it works out OK.

I shan’t be continuing with this exercise in the New Year.  Though I hope to find a new use for this blog…

I would like to keep a nature journal.

31-Dec

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30th December

2010:

We went to the Black Country Communion gig at Shepherd’s Bush Academy (formerly the Empire).

Gig was amazing – especially Bonham and Bonamassa. The version of John Henry was…. sublime. And verrrrrrry long.

Actually the gig was good in parts. When it was good it was excellent. When it was not so good it was still pretty good.  Couldn’t see much of the stage (a consistent problem at that venue) and people around us were talking (why do people talk through gigs?

30th December

2012:

Today I have been cooking.  Ashley has a cold.  There were camels in town.  I’m not sure why they weren’t wrestling at Kusadasi.

30-Dec

29th December

2010:

It was back to work before it got light. Walking a bit painful since I twisted my knee yesterday – wasn’t doing anything unusual, I just turned in the kitchen (maybe a bit awkwardly) and something went ‘twang’ inside it. Getting better gradually anyway.  Was misty in the morning…

Work was quiet – quite relaxed.

29th December

2012:

Market in the morning then tea at Carpouza.  Played Commands and Colours in the afternoon.  Meeting with friends for drinks in town after dinner.  I’ve been looking through quilt patterns – not very happy with the one I did the block for yesterday.  The turkeys are for New Year’s dinner.  They are to be seen on the market at this time of year.

29-Dec

28th December

2010:

A quiet day on which I did  very, very little. I dysonned the flat. I water changed the bigger upstairs fishtank, I kept up with the cross between a car crash and a soap opera on the Turkish Living Forum. We had omlet with melon for lunch which was nice. The pheasants were defrosting merrily. The snow had almost completely gone. Ashley was anticipating getting his bike out for work.

Very similar to the picture from 11th December – same view from the Den window but the environment/light is changed. On today’s I can see a little bit of snow still remaining on the towpath. Maybe you need to know where the towpath is. Sometimes we see a fox right at the corner of the carpark. But he wasn’t there when I took the picture.

28th December

2012:

A quiet day.  It was somewhat drizzly.  Our new heaters arrived in the early afternoon and it didn’t take Ashley long to get them fitted.  Warmish weather so we haven’t really had a chance to try them out.  Now being warmed by the soba as it is after dinner.  The black kitten ventured into the back house at one point but was chased out again.  I made my test patchwork block and was quite encouraged by the result.  My lesson has paid off, it seems!

28-Dec

27th December

2010:

We went to Luton in a taxi. There was a lot of traffic on the way up but we still made reasonable time. We spent the afternoon playing boardgames with Ashley’s brother and his nephew and niece (both now in their twenties). Sadly most of them had horrible colds which put a bit of a damper on the occasion, but it all went remarkably well.

A football match was watched and Ashley won a small bet on it.  Our taxi arrived in a timely manner and brought us back home.  Assi texted to say that he had collected his car safely, so it seems that they got home OK.   It was raining and the rain was melting the snow.
27th December

 

2012:

Lazy start to the day followed by a patchwork lesson from a friend.  I learned some very valuable things.  (The correct way to cut fabric, that my rotary cutter needed a new blade and tightening, how to press the seams properly, how to match up centres).  It was also great fun.  We have paid for two electric radiators.  These are Norwegian in design and very thermostatically controlled.  We probably won’t live to recoup the cost of them (though they are not all that expensive and are very efficient) but they are far less obtrusive than the freestanding oil filled radiator and the calor gas heater we are using at present.  And will keep us evenly warm for the three months in which heating is needed.  In winter, though, we are happy that the front house faces South and West.  Even a very small amount of sunshine warms us up nicely.  And today was pleasantly sunny – up to 18 degrees.

Photo taken on my way home from my patchwork lesson.

Dec-27

26th December

2010:

Started late. We had lunch of leftover vegetables fried up with a little gravy and eggs on top. We added in some beetroot and tomatoes and onions. Not quite hash and not quite bubble and squeak but delicious nonetheless.
After lunch we played Hannibal and Ashley won. Just. He played Rome because it was my turn to play Hannibal. I was actually beaten by one, single political control marker…

Around all this the washing got done and the kitchen (including oven) and bathroom got cleaned. I water changed two of the tanks.  We booked a taxi to Luton.   We couldn’t get the bike out of the garage as there was sheet ice in the way.  We phoned our usual taxi firm and booked… It’s actually not a lot dearer than the bus that goes from Heathrow to Luton (that’s £24 each, each way) and getting from ours to Heathrow and from Luton to where we are going is not completely free… Which makes it cost more than our quote for our taxi. About the same when you allow for the tip… Train is a bit cheaper but would involve getting into and out of Central London. So our taxi comes to our flat at around 13:30 and collects us from Luton after the football match.

The picture for today is of a cat trying not to fall off a fence prowling. I have not seen this cat before. It was so poorly balanced that the birds ceased being scared of it and came to our bird feeder

26th December

2012:

It was a lovely sunny day.  We went to market.  I cooked.  We cleaned.  We had eight people over for drinks and bits.  Some only speak Turkish, some only speak English.  Our friend Oya bought loads and loads of food.  I may have spent the last two days cooking but that is the last cooking I will have to do for some time.  Our friend Doris is going to help me with my patchwork.  OK, the bits I have done do not line up but she said it was not bad for a first attempt.  I have a lesson with her tomorrow.  We are also looking at buying some thermostatically controlled very efficient radiators.  All our friends who have them say they are excellent.  They would be more efficient and better looking (and less space occupying) than the oil filled ones we have at present.

26-Dec

 

 

25th December

2010:

This morning my parents drove to Nottingham to have lunch in a restaurant with my brother and his wife and spend time with them. I made Christmas Dinner. We had roast sirloin, roast potatoes, roast parsnips,  cabbage, horseradish sauce made by Ashley, gravy and yorkshire pudding. We had ready-to-heat wild mushroom soup to start with and Christmas cake with icecream to finish. We also had a cheese board and mince pies.

It’s now all packed away (well mostly) including the washing up. Jacob just left and Ashley is struggling to learn to play Grand Theft Auto (borrowed from Jacob).

DSC02159

2012:

I got up late, feeling that I am almost over the cold I’ve been suffering.  Spent most of the day cooking,  Borek, cake, cheese flans, done…  Still need to do fava, lavas and mince pies.  Oh and cabbage salad.  But the majority of the baking is done and sitting in the back house to keep cool.

It’s been a lovely day.  Sunny and comparatively warm.

25-Dec

24th December

2010:

Work felt long. There were not many of us in the offices at St. Mary’s. I left quite early, came home then we went to my parent’s for Turkey and presents.  It all went well. Jacob drove us home but has gone back to do the washing up. He will come back early tomorrow afternoon for Christmas dinner.

24th December

2012:

Went shopping for the bits for Boxing Day entertaining, then a winter tea in Carpouza.  Home and we played Commands and Colours and cooked – we are having roast chicken with roast vegetables, stuffing, cauliflower with cheese and zeytinyagli kereviz.  Still feeling a bit rough from the cold but I think it’s getting better.

24-dec

23rd December

2010:

Quiet at work. Playing with spreadsheets and pivot tables. Enough to have given me a headache…

The pavements were treacherously slippery on my way home from the bus stop. Took longer than usual to walk. The roads are clear. I did take the bus to the station this morning (the walk is 15 to 20 mins, the bus comes 3 times an hour and is tolerable in school holidays) as the roads are clear. Paddington is also fairly clear though the gulls are still standing on the canal.

23rd December

2012: 

We had a quiet day.  Outside was grey.  I did a bit of patchwork and we messed around at playing Nightfall with extra players to see how it went (we had to pretend to be the extra players).  I’ve got a cold, which is not very pleasant but will surely pass.  The picture shows grey skies and the wood outside the baker’s shop.

23-Dec

22nd December

2010:

In the morning the sky was like lead.  And is pretty much the same view as the day before yesterday.   Yet the sky, I think, has an entirely different quality.
22nd December

2012:

It has been grey and cold all day.  So it’s not always sunny.  Market in the morning, house cleaning and cooking and playing Nightfall in the afternoon.  Washing didn’t get dry on the roof.  It’s now in the basket in the bathroom and I will hang it up again tomorrow.  The pansies on the front house railings are cheering.

22-Dec