wordless wednesday

November 22, 2017 at 2:21 pm 1 comment

And so to bed (This is Britain photo book)


Stoked. Thrilled. Overjoyed. Amazed. Delighted. Chuffed.
Just a few words to describe how I feel seeing my boys immortalised in print.

My photo of Euan and Luca reading stories with their Lumie Bed Bug was chosen by photographer Rankin from over 11,000 entries for inclusion in the ”This is Britain” photo book. What’s more all proceeds from the sale of the book are going to BBC Children in Need. Stoked. Thrilled. Overjoyed. Amazed. Delighted. Chuffed.



I submitted two other photos in the ”waking up” and ”at play” categories – they’re not included in the book but I love them just the same.

November 20, 2017 at 2:29 pm Leave a comment

five ways with … a ton of rhubarb

So it may well be the wrong time of year to post this since your rhubarb harvest will be far from your thoughts and probably on the woody side now. But hey, let’s pretend I’m being really organised for next Spring when your rhubarb crown will be re-birthing after winter and at it’s finest! If you find yourself wondering what to do with the ton of rhubarb I hope you’ll end up with here are a few suggestions from the archives (sigh, from the good old days of having an abundant harvest from the allotment!)

rhubarb and green tomato chutney
Green tomato and rhubarb chutney - jar and rice cake 4B

rhubarb wine
nipitinthebud - 9-9-11_rhubarb and raspberry wine 4B

rhubarb relish
14-8-10 - rhubarb relish 4B

Choclette’s Rustic Rhubarb Galette

 
Choclette’s rhubarb, rose and white chocolate ice cream

 
This post has spent 5 years in drafts waiting to be finished!  The first three suggestions are my own nipitinthebud makes but growing small boys stalled any efforts to complete the post with some delicious rhubarb bakes.  So having been inspired by my husbands musical collaborations this month I decided to ask my friend Choclette at Tin and Thyme if I could feature some of her terrific rhubarb recipes.  I knew she’d come up trumps and if these ideas have whet your appetite be sure to check out her archives – she has enough suggestions for a ”10 ways with a ton of rhubarb” post!  Enjoy x

November 20, 2017 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

a first birthday (in pictures)

Having passed the 6 month anniversary of Luca’s first birthday last month (woops!) before sorting through the photos from his special day, here’s how we celebrated him.  Euan was off school with chicken pox and it was so lovely to have him home with us – it really wouldn’t have been the same without E there to “help” unwrap and play with L’s presents!  And it was lovely to have a birthday cake making helper.

November 17, 2017 at 9:53 pm 1 comment

musical stories inspired by life in Gloucester

Imagine it’s 2010 and you’re reading this in the week that I actually wrote it ….

‘Sorry I haven’t a clue’ on BBC Radio 4 was broadcast from Cheltenham a couple of weeks ago and Jack Dee set the scene by saying ‘Cheltenham is often referred to as the gateway to the Cotswolds‘.  Proud ‘mmms’ rippled through the audience and then laughter when he added ‘and if that’s the case then Gloucester is the ASDA of the Malverns’.  Having lived in Cheltenham for the first half of my life and Gloucester for most of the second half I can happily say I’d choose ASDA City over Cotswolds Town! Gloucester has a lot of heart and is a down to earth patchwork of people and cultures and with a rich history.  

We’ve lived in Gloucester for over 12 years and made some good friends here.  The naming of ‘best friends‘ that seemed so important as a child ceased being necessary when I married my best friend in 1998.  Our dearest friends come hand in hand with lovely others now so how could I possibly single out any one person, other than G.  Well I couldn’t but I completely understand the affection with which some people are able to name that one special ”best friend” in their life.  G is one of them when it comes to our friend Dan.  And what makes Dan worthy of this title?  Well, I won’t embarrass him by sharing all his wonderful qualities and endearing quirks here but the strength of Dan and George’s connection is tied to their shared passion and talent for music.  They’ve created some of the most moving tracks I’ve had the good fortune to smile, sway and cry to and I’m sure the quality of their music making is rooted in the depth of their friendship and their openness to love and let go in equal measure.  Music reviewer Stephen Morris said ‘their music is as sumptuous and gorgeous as it is poignant and imaginative”.

Nocturnal City Journal album cover copy

(click on the album cover to listen to Nocturnal City Journal)

The music Stephen was referring to was ”Nocturnal City Journal’‘ , an album of 10 tracks telling the stories of imaginary residents of the old worn out historic English city of Gloucester.  Big Blue Sun made a limited run of CDs and once these sold chose to make their music as widely available as possible on-line.  So you can listen and download any of their 4 album recordings from Soundcloud or Bandcamp.   

One of my favourite Dan/George collaborations is ‘Wisdom is Blue’ which contains the thought provoking lyrics

”How come making war can be called keeping peace? 
How come lovers are the ones we mistreat? 
How come everything is equal till you’re sitting in my seat? 
Wisdom’s a colour and the colour is blue.” 

Thanks for bearing with me if you’re still reading thus far. It probably seems a bit random to have tweaked this post rather than hitting delete on 7 year old copy. But it serves to remind me how G’s need to craft beautiful, meaningful music runs through him like the writing through a stick of rock.  Although Dan no longer lives in Gloucester G continues to be inspired by the City we live in and has been awarded funding by the Arts Council to develop his creative practice making music inspired by and performed in 8 iconic spaces around the City.

G recorded his first piece of new music last week in St Mary de Crypt Church with a choir and string section.  It’s going to be an amazing musical journey you can follow each month via his Musical George Moorey Instagram page.

G is such a natural networker and collaborator and his SPACES project is bringing together not just musicians but writers, poets, photographers and film makers.  Each performance is being filmed and will culminate in an interactive trail next year as part of Gloucestershire’s History Festival.

Image credits:  Dan and George with guitars on the beach in Brighton in 2007 – shot by Tom Oldham.  Photographs on Big Blue Sun album cover and the Spaces project photographs – shot by Shane Young.  Film maker Chris Watkins discussing documenting the St Mary de Crypt recording.

November 17, 2017 at 1:28 pm Leave a comment

wordless wednesday

November 15, 2017 at 1:44 pm 2 comments

melting wax crayons

With a craft loving 5 year old and a curious 1 year old it’s inevitable that things like sharp pencils and chewable crayons will find their way into the baby’s hand. Euan wouldn’t have known such things existed when he was this small yet Luca is growing up surrounded by interesting craft materials and big kid toys that make his baby things seem, frankly, rather dull. I had the bright idea to melt down E’s collection of crayons so that L would stop trying to put them in his mouth. The result was just different shape wax crayons he put in his mouth but hey, they’re no longer thin and stick like and E and I had a lot of fun making them.





To make wax crayon shapes

  • soak the crayons in water for easy removal of the paper wrapper
  • break up the crayons and place in a muffin tin or silicon shape mould
  • Bake in the oven at 150 degrees for 30 minutes
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  • Enjoy hours of fun decorating a large cardboard box with your new wax crayon shapes (L just loved putting them in and out of our zippy wallet).
  • .
    please note:  this will ruin your silicone tray we discovered so please don’t use one you love making chocolate shapes or cakes in!  Some other blog posts recommend heating at 200 degrees for 10 minutes but I didn’t fancy taking something that hot and liquidy out of my oven with kids in the kitchen.  I think a slower cooler melt time enables the different colours to remain slightly separate.

    November 7, 2017 at 11:38 am Leave a comment

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    #onefromthearchives in the days when I had time to experiment with preserve recipes and create edible gifts
#nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife #chutneyaddict #allotmentgardening #foragersdelight #preservemaking So totally stoked to receive my #thisisbritainphotobook this morning.  My gut feeling was right - bedtime stories with our Lumie bed bug was the photo chosen by #rankin for inclusion.  Overjoyed to see my beautiful boys in print
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#proudmumma #newblogpost 5 ways with . . . a ton of rhubarb.  Many thanks to @choclette8 for sharing two of her recipes so I could finally complete this post! 
#nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife #rhubarb #preservemaking #greentomatochutney #chutneyaddict #rhubarbwine #rhubarbicecream A first birthday fruit stack tower #nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife #duplo #firstbirthdaysugarfree I was reminded of these ridiculous German Hilds Blue radishes I grew once when @happyacrefarm posted their giant spud picture today.  I say grew but I actually just forgot about them and they did this all by themselves! 
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