Does Anyone Know Who Won And What The Score Was Last Night?

Aaaaah!  I am a mix of sleepiness and smiles right now.  I have just arrived back in London at my little abode after travelling by train to visit my Goldfinch over the last couple of days.

maple and pecan cheesecake slices

I baked these babies on Saturday night after work.  These are maple and pecan cheesecake slices.  They were delicious, but I have to admit, i think they are more of a winter pudding, not summery at all.  You use gingernuts for the base and add cinnamon and nutmeg.  Definitely more wintery flavours.  But good grief they are indulgent! Goldfinch seemed happy with me.

He was entirely wonderful – through and through.  I am feeling so blessed to have Goldfinch in my life right now.

Neither Goldfinch nor I were the slightest bit concerned about the football.  However, we were slightly curious who won the match England played last night.  I am not sure who they were matched against.  If anybody would be kind enough to pop the score in the comments, I would be grateful to you.

Meanwhile I will give you an inkling what Goldfinch and I got up to this weekend.  Well…

nescafeSunday was beautiful.  Goldfinch and I went for a short walk down to Morrisons Supermarket to check out bargains (is it just us that love snapping up the reduced items and filling the freezer with them?)  I found something to become excited about.

I do buy instant coffee (cappuccino and mocha coffee) to take with me when I am travelling.  I am not very good with dairy, so rather than having black coffee or black tea I sometimes prefer to have a couple of cappuccino sachets in my handbag.  I have never seen this flavour before though.  So I snapped them up and am looking forward to trying one.  I am too sleepy right now to drink coffee.

Then we went for a long walk…and saw lots of interesting things to chat about.  I like the complete mix of subjects…we can talk about the trivial to the deep and flit between subjects so easily.  Goldfinch lets me talk about the situation at work.  That helps.  He understands management so he gives me good advice.

dragonflyWe saw a huge dragon fly!  It was enormous and had gloriously glittering golden wings.  It looked as if it had flown at speed into a concrete post so it was lying next to the post, clearly not likely to be going anywhere in a hurry I must admit.  But it was fascinating to see such a fantastic creature up closely.

Our walk ended in a park.  Eventually we found a nice shady spot and lay down on the grass and carried on chatting.  We may have been there for an hour or so when we decided it was time to walk back.  On the way back we passed a roundabout.  We have lots of roundabouts in England, so I take for granted that you will know what they are. But it’s a kind of road junction where several roads might converge.  The rule normally is you have to give way to the right.  If there are no cars already on the roundabout coming from your right, then you can enter the roundabout.  Up and down the country we haveroundabout these circles in the middle of road junctions. some of them quite large.  There is a town in the north with a roundabout named “Half-Mile Island”.  Sometimes the local council will arrange for a monument or display to be erected.  Or other councils may have flower beds to make it pretty.  The roundabout we passed had tall wildflowers amongst long grass.  It looked like a beautiful meadow.  I asked Goldfinch to pick me up and carry me into the middle of the roundabout and make love to me like in a movie scene.  He laughed of course at the idea of doing that in the middle of a major road heading into the city centre.  I explained to him that I don’t like watching any “hanky-panky” on the screen. (It embarrasses me to watch actors portraying what should be a very special and beautiful thing between a couple who truly love each other, but they make it look cheap and sweaty and devoid of real meaning.)  But I love it when, in a period drama, the gentleman picks up the lady and staggers into a wheat field and you just see the two of them disappear amongst the wheat stalks.

I told Goldfinch that it has to be one of the romantic ideas for many women…that this wonderful respectable, responsible husband that is deeply in love with you, picks you up, making it look as if you are as light as as feather, and takes you into the meadow and…

Anyway…Goldfinch did not.  Wise man!  He pointed out that we would stand a high chance of being arrested, which would be extremely undesirable.

As we continued walking back we heard noises from the houses we passed which reminded us that there was a football match on last night with the English football team playing.  I had been telling Goldfinch that although the pubs might have a lot of people watching football, other restaurants might be quite empty.  So we headed into town and vegatsubecause I had mentioned how I wanted to try the new vegan Katsu curry on the Wagamamas menu – that is where Goldfinch took me.

Now…it was delicious.  I am glad I had it.  However, the main event is the vegan meat alternative which has the unfortunate name “seitan”.  This is the discription of my dish right from the menu:

“…our vegan katsu curry, seitan coated in crispy panko breadcrumbs, covered in an aromatic curry sauce with sticky white rice and a seasoned side salad.”

So, I asked the waitress, “what is this “see-tan”?”  She replied, “It’s “say-tan”.  I said, “Yes, I was worried it would be”.  Do Wagamamas not see that it is odd to have a waitress telling you that they put these crispy breadcrumbs all over Satan, calve it up for you and smother it with curry sauce?  I guess I am going to have to overlook the unfortunate name given to this meat alternative and just enjoy a new vegan dish.

The restaurant was very empty, which was great.  But because the service was so quick moon in daylightwe ended up leaving the restaurant quite early.  It was still light….Goldfinch danced with me in the middle of the city centre.  I love that he will dance with me in public places.  It is utterly lovely.  He pointed out that the moon had appeared just for us.  In fact there was a huge crane that was pointing upwards towards the moon.  Goldfinch told me that “they” had just hoisted it up with the crane because they knew we were out.  I like being with Goldfinch so much.  He is intoxicating I confess.  He just makes me feel glad from head to toe every moment I am with him.  That is alright isn’t it?

Then as it was so early, we went to the cinema to watch a film.  The film was alright.  I was just enjoying the company.  We sat in a huge theatre and yet there were probably around ten people in the audience – mostly girls.  (Which I think was due to the football match England were playing.)  He kindly endured a chick flick for me because the other options were a bit violent which I don’t like.  Goldfinch ordered salty popcorn though!  We will overlook that since he was perfect in every other way the entire weekend.

Aaaaah Goldfinch.  I love him.  He makes me feel warm, safe and happy…oh so happy.  If he liked sweet popcorn he would be perfect.  But no human is perfect, so I guess he has to have a fault, and if it’s going to be salted popcorn…I can live with that.

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The Mighty Bosh!

I was delighted with a cookbook my friend gave me recently. If only it were not so heavy, I would love to be wowing Goldfinch by cooking recipes from “Bosh!” an entirely plant based cookbook. I love it!

new cookbook

When I am back in England (which I obviously have very mixed feelings about) I am going to be cooking using the recipes from my new cook book and inviting friends over to try the recipes.

Gary…you are vegan I think…correct me if I am wrong. You must come for a plant based feast.

Milly and Me Try Market Day In Machynlleth

IMG_20180711_130356My brother-in-law has many many family members in North Wales, mainly concentrated in the southern part of Snowdonia.  My time here has been spent traversing Welshpool, Bala, Abergernolwyn, Dolgellau, Tywyn, Aberystwyth and earlier this week we popped into Machynlleth on Market Day.

It has been a long time since I potted around a market.  There are traditional market towns up and down the country.  I love to wander around and have a nosey.  I rarely need anything and usually end up buying something like a jar of honey or marmalade.

I bought Vegan Blue Cheese and Seitan this week.  Jury is still out on both of them I am afraid.  But I love how super-friendly everyone was.  My niece receives so much attention everywhere we go.  She is super gorgeous so I can understand.

IMG_20180711_124747plaqueWe also had a little look at some of the landmarks and points of interest in Machynlleth.

Have you ever heard of Owain Glyndŵr?

He was a Welsh ruler and the last native Welshman to hold the title Prince of Wales. Apparently many regarded him as an unofficial king. He instigated a determined but unsuccessful revolt against the English rule of Wales.  He fought fiercely and was a warrior through and through.  We are talking about 1400-1415, so Machynlleth has some pretty ancient landmarks.

IMG_20180711_122332Owain Glyndŵr called his first Parliament of all Wales at Machynlleth.  The photograph above is is the location where he was crowned Prince of Wales. He launched his national programme for an independent Wales. He envisioned an independent Welsh state with it’s own parliament and a separate Welsh church. He wanted two national universities (one in the south and one in the north).

Despite all of his efforts, it would be hundreds of years later when Owain Glyndŵr’s vision would be achieved.  Yet, he is held as quite the  hero.

IMG_20180711_130749We also visited a building which used to be a tabernacle and has turned into a concert hall and exhibition center.  MoMA (The Museum of Modern Art) I was asked by the lady at the welcome desk  if I paint – unfortunately she did not mean with emulsion or gloss paint (which I can), she was referring to water-colour or oil-paints (which I can’t).  She invited me to submit an entry to the annual art competition (which I won’t be doing) but hey, I will throw out her invitation to any budding artists who are casting their eyes over this post.

I have even discovered that they have a blog, one that is clearly superior to mine:  https://stories.moma.org/

Next stop was the vegetarian cafe The Quarry.  I had seen the reviews and most of them gave high praise to the Big Mach (the veggie burger) and the trifle – I cannot remember the last time I had trifle.  But I had no idea how much we would enjoy our lunch there.  Huge thumbs up for The Quarry – vegan/vegetarian cafe.

 

I love the small-town feel to this area.  Everyone seems to know everyone.  No less than forteen people called over to Milly as we wandered along.  Some were related to Milly’s husband, some were customers and some friends or neighbours.  We even bumped into one of my Dad’s friends from our home town near Liverpool.  He and his wife love this area for holidays.   All had headed to Machynlleth for Market Day.

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As we walked back to the car greeting more friendly folk who wanted to make a fuss of my gorgeous niece, I felt very content with our stress-free and rather delightful day out in Machynlleth.

Back at my sister’s sweet abode, I am settling down for my last sleep here before departing from Wales.  As  for when I will be back in London…well, it all depends on whether Djokovic beats Nadal tomorrow.  I will explain in another post.

Tomorrow, we are headed to Staffordshire.

 

Canolfen y Dechnoleg Amgen (That’s About As Much Welsh As You’re Going To Get Out Of Me I’m Afraid)

Just a stone’s throw from the cottage belonging to some family members is a site we have not been to for ages…and we decided as it is was close to the town we were visiting today we would take a visit with Little One.

Our destination today was the:

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Centre for Alternative Technology

Yes, that’s right, just behind the welcome desk which is on the same level as the car park, there is a cable car up to the rest of the site.  Here in Wales, they are very considerate of English folk who might not be use to walking up mountains every day.

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As if this not enough excitement for little one!  And for me!

It makes me laugh that when you read the information leaflet, it makes the center sound as interesting as reading the information on the side of a cereal box, or the back of a utility bill.

The reality is that not only is the center very interesting and of relevance to just about anyone at all who lives in a house, or uses electricity or takes showers or eats food…

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The VIEWS…the Center is worth a visit just for the views alone if you are really not interested in any of the information presented.

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I wish I had a better camera to take better pictures for you…there is nothing like your own eyes though to see Wales for yourself.

I took about fifty photos today of exhibits and my family as we toured the buildings displaying information, the gardens and all sorts of displays, and fun exhibits.  In addition we stopped off at the mostly vegan cafe and shared a vegan chocolate cake and a vegan lemon drizzle cake.

Then there was the playground…and the slide – my niece was in her element!  Oh she had fun.  A one year old child makes everything a hundred times more fun.

We learnt all about the origins of CAT (Center for Alternative Technologies), energy efficient construction techniques, how to conserve and make wise use of resources, including electricity and water, how to grow your own veggies and herbs, and there was a huge amount of information on all the alternatives to burning fossils fuels.

I don’t want you to tire of my holiday photos, so I will try to put together a little collage so you get the idea of what we were up to today.

Wish you were here with us in Wales!