Monday, 17 November 2014

Little Surprises

How things in life can surprise you...  We recently did a great bike ride on some of Edinburgh's disused railways and through Barnton and then Dalmeny Estate to the Forth Bridges.  Near the Dalmeny House we had a brilliant view of Inchmickery Island.

During WW2 some of the islands in the Forth Estuary were disguised as battleships.  They had large gun emplacements on them and the idea was that they worked as decoys, so the bombers would head for them rather than the submarines which were travelling along the Estuary.

I think this shot is incredible and shows exactly how the plot worked.  Surprising and very clever.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Making the Move

Yesterday I had a rare midweek day off and decided to be a tourist in my own city.  With a friend, we decided to do the Fringe like "normal" people and wandered around to see what we could find.  What we came across in the middle of the day was a play called Making the Move.

It was remarkable in that it was only 20 minutes long!  The concept was simple but clever.  Four actors sat on a sofa and between them there were three dialogues going on all about how the middle couple would achieve their first kiss.  As the dialogue moved back and forwards in time and location (all in the space of 20 minutes, you understand!), the teenage worries about The First Kiss were discussed and tried and debated.

It was a very clever little piece - like a snapshot into a teenage mind, but with some funny one liners and some good acting.  Surprisingly good and if you want to do a quick Fringe lunchtime show, you could get a bus/taxi/walk from town, see it and still be back at the office within the hour!

It is only on until 17 August and costs just £2
Just the Tonic at the Caves: Aug 4-17 (not 12) at 12.15 (20 mins) Space: Just the Big Room

Friday, 21 March 2014

Edinburgh New Town Cookery School and Orange Posset

This is a lovely pudding I had the other day at the Edinburgh New Town Cookery School.  The school trains professional chefs - and does it really well.  Many of them go onto jobs in amazing places including Ottolenghi, Fat Duck at Bray and the very nice Edinburgh based Cafe St Honore.  I was invited to a student lunch.  This is where the students have to budget and organise a lunch for a group of invited guests.  The food was really tasty and this orange posset, was particularly so.  It was served with honey roasted rhubarb and ginger crumb. 

I made a pathetic attempt to emulate it and while it looked lovely, it tasted nowhere near as good.  Perhaps I need to enroll?!

Saturday, 1 June 2013


I love the IJ Mellis cheese shop in Morningside, so am cheating and copying a link to another blog.  I really enjoyed this and it has inspired me to nip in today for some Isle of Mull Cheddar.  It will put me in the mood for holidays....

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Coconut Slice

I have just made some coconut slice. Remember the school dinners version?  It was probably made with Stork SB and knobbly bits of coconut on the top.  It seemed pretty delicious at the time, but the modern version is far superior.  You need to use really good quality butter and seedless raspberry jam.  I now have a sticky keyboard.  oops!  I am always telling the children not to eat and type at the same time ....

So here is the recipe:

Coconut Slice

100g butter
200g SR flour
50g caster sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tbspn water

7 tbsps seedless raspberry jam
3 egg whites
100g caster sugar
150g dessicated coconut

Set oven to 180 degrees centigrade and grease a baking tin approx 15cm by 8 cm

rub butter into flour until like breadcrumbs, stir in sugar and then mix in the egg yolks and the water.  Mix until a dough forms (I do all this in the Kenwood Chef and it is v quick).  Press the dough into the tin, leaving a little ridge around the edge.

Fill this with the jam and spread evenly, not quite reaching the edge of the tin.

Whisk the egg whites until in stiff peaks.  Gently fold in the sugar and coconut and then spread over the  jam and base, right to the edges of the tin.

Bake for 20 mins and leave in the tin to cool, then cut into squares.

Resist eating it all before teatime!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Lost Sheep?

I am not sure this can be for real, but it did make me laugh.  What is the media coming to that some lost sheep that have been found is news?  It reminds me of teenagers saying "where is my rugby shirt?  Someone has stolen it" and me saying "have you looked in the washing basket/on the pulley/in your school bag" etc....

At least it fills up Twitter

Friday, 23 November 2012

Webs and Blogs

I have been talking to people a lot recently about websites and blogs.  It is interesting to hear that for many people who set up a blog as a hobby, they have found themselves increasingly welcomed into the realm of quasi-journalism.  We are all bloggers now - even if it is only putting up a comment on Facebook or a review on TripAdvisor.  With online profiles and avatars (like the aggressive chicken I know well), we are all building our own online persona without much effort.

Of particular interest are the ones who set up a site as a hobby/ to show they can do it and find themselves with advertising, subscribers and free offers of things to trial and review.  My theory on this is that if you can find the online thing that no one else is doing, you might manage to earn quite a lot of money for not really doing anything!  I set this blog up purely so I could see how one creates a blog and then how easy/difficult it was to think of things to write about and find the time to do it.  So it was a personal education rather than the desire to build an online persona or a passion for writing about things.  This could be why my posts are so sporadic!

However, following this and following the conversations I am having with people who set up sites themselves, I am building the plan for an idea in my head.  I won't earn money from it, I am sure, but I will continue to enjoy talking about my job and building my understanding of online techniques.

The other thing I am learning about is SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), but that is definitely another post on another day!