Chocolate, GB Sewing Bee and Game of Thrones…Heaven!

Easter 2013

This house has been Choc-tastic this week with the amount of yummy Easter Eggs the kids have been given. Hubby and I also gave each other one and mine is now finished (it was  Munchies egg with two packets of Munchies, a lovely choc egg and a mug – it was delicious and calorific but I enjoyed every bite!!). I’ve been rationing the kids. The girl has been known to eat sweets until she is sick (at my parents’ house…thanks mum!!) plus I don’t want them overloading on sugar, so they still have quite a bit of the chocolate left. In saying that, it’s only Wednesday and they should have some left.

So how’s your Easter been? Hubby and I were both off Friday – Monday this week, so it was nice to have everyone around. We didn’t do much, but it was nice just to pootle around the house and have a bit of family time. We took the offspring up to Geilston Gardens to do the annual Easter Egg hunt…it was really cold, but the gardens were still beautiful and we had a lovely time following the clues so our two could get their eggs in the end.

Yesterday, we had a gang of kids round getting their pictures taken for something I’m doing at work. The house was heaving with kids and adults, but it was fun.

Today, the girl has already left for a sleepover, the boy is playing a game and I’m catching up on writing (DI3 draft is away to my publisher), housework (mound of ironing waiting to be done…sigh. You know how much I “love” ironing) and other stuff. The girl has put in a few orders for dresses for her dolls. I made one already – I would have shown it but she’s away to her sleepover with doll and dress – and have a few more to do. I may start another one tonight, depends on how I get on today. I’m wanting to start re-editing my book for adults today. Am keen to get that away.

Did anyone see the Great British Sewing Bee programme last night? Myself and my friend watched it in our own homes, but commented via text on the various things that were being made. We both thought the older lady was a pretty good sewer and felt poor Michelle, who was a bit ambitious about using silk for a reversible dress,  shouldn’t have been put out. She seemed to me to be a better seamstress than the two men.  Anyway, there was nothing made last night that I can truly say I liked, although I quite liked the car fabric and the green dress fabric. Roll on next week, I say. I enjoyed the programme and as a novice sewer myself thought the tips were quite good. We shall see if it holds my attention.

Talking of telly, did anyone see the first episode of the new series of Game of Thrones on Monday night? I just love Game of Thrones. The first episode was a bit tame, but the previous series’ first episodes were the same, they are mainly there to set the scene for what comes after. Just invested in a complete set of the books so far, but am worried that if I read past book 2, I’ll be spoiling the tv programme for myself. Dilemma dilemma. Hey, if that’s the worst thing I’ve to worry about, I’m doing okay! Anyway, am looking forward to the rest of the series. Tyrion Lannister is still my fave character!!

Also back is Castle AND a new series of The Big Bang Theory starts soon! This is great because there has been a dearth of good tv programmes recently and I haven’t been watching an awful lot of it. Just Elementary and reruns of Poirot (although I think I’ve now seen every episode at least twice by now). I suppose it’s a good thing that I’m not the telly addict I once was…means I get on with other stuff.

The other thing I’ve been doing is making bread in my new bread maker. Just bought a cheap one out of Argos, but it makes really nice bread. Don’t get me wrong, I do prefer to make bread by hand (now that I have finally learned how to do it after years of making bricks!!), but I often don’t have the time or inclination. The bread maker means I can just bung some ingredients into the maker and just leave it…excellent. This means we have fresh bread more often…double excellent. Thank you little sister for being the first in the family to buy a bread maker and sing its praises thus encouraging our mum and then me to buy one for ourselves!!!

Right am off. Until next time and Happy Easter!!

Dawn xxx

Discovering Witches, Baking Cupcakes, Writing and Gardening

A Discovery of WitchesShadow of Night

Just finished reading Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness which is the second novel in the All Souls Trilogy. I can hardly wait for the third book, they are that good. It was my mum who put me on to them and I am so glad she did…they are fantastic. Full of adventure, romance, history, magic and more…everything I like in a good read. Would thoroughly recommend them. The story follows Diana Bishop, an historian and witch, who accidentally uncovers a powerful magical book in the Bodeleian Libray. It’s that discovery that leads her into a dangerous world where she comes up against other witches, vampires and daemons keen to get their hands on her and the book. Shadow of the Night continues the story leading Diana back to Elizabethan England. I liked this book in particular for the accuracy throughout about real people of the time,  costume, how people lived, what London looked like, what they ate etc. Deborah goes into great detail about various aspects of Elizabethan life that I loved. Yes, definitely both excellent reads.

So what’s been happening in your world? Everyone returned to work this week and Monday was full of folk groaning and moaning about: being back at work; what miserable weather it’s been; and how dark the winter is this year (dark in the sense that it feels like the day barely lights up at all some days due to the heaviness of the rain clouds). Today there’s been a bit of snow and sleet fall. The snow is lying on the hills surrounding the Clyde and Glasgow, but isn’t lying further down, which is good because – much as I love snow – I hate driving in it.

I’ve had a pretty busy week what with returning to work after the Christmas holidays (to thankfully few emails!) and getting back into the swing of things. The kids are now back in their routine. The boy has been exhausted this week. I forget just how young he is sometimes, but he’s pleased to be back at school – as am I! He and his sister are currently upstairs supposedly tidying their rooms, but I hear too much chatter going on between them for them to be truly tidying! We’ll see!

Been pushing on with my book for adults and I’m close to finishing the first draft. I’ve already edited the first half of the book, but will go back over the whole of the book to ensure it reads okay. I’m pleased with it, I now just need to find an agent who thinks the same thing. Am also going to look into self publishing it as an e-book. I have a  couple of friends I’m going to give copies  to read and give comments back, which will be useful.

On the DarkIsle 3 front – there is no new news at the moment. What I hope is the final draft is with my publisher just now and I’m just waiting to hear back from him.

Crafting – been a bit quiet on that front too. One of my sewing machines’ feeder dogs are broken and am currently awaiting our local sewing machine fixing man to come and collect it. Lord knows how much that’s going to cost!! Am thinking of finishing that sock I began knitting myself this time last year…hmmm.

Baking – my friend Tracy gave me lovely cupcake cases with excerpts from renaissance paintings printed on them. Used them for the first time on Friday.  I baked around 40 small cupcakes. They are now all gone bar one that was saved for hubby. My kids (and me) are proper cake lovers!

Gardening – have gone through my seed catalogue and chosen the seeds I want to buy. Just need to be paid again before I can purchase them! Was out in the garden yesterday weeding the front (the weeds are tenacious there), bin-bagging cat poo from our neighbours’ manky black cats (grrrrr) – I will purchase cat repellent this week, and turning over my veg garden (we put leaves from our garden on the veg plot to rot down).

That’s it from the DarkIsle household this week: nothing exciting, just a normal quiet life which is just how I like it!

Until next time!

Dawn xxx

Cola and laptops don’t mix

It’s been a little while since I last blogged and I don’t really have an excuse for it. I suppose I was taking an unofficial break and also perfecting (finally) bread making! I did go to blog yesterday, but was prevented from doing so thanks to my boy… on Thursday he was playing CBeebies on my laptop whilst drinking a small glass of coke (I’d given it to him as a major treat – I don’t like them drinking too many fizzy drinks). Anyway, he accidentally tipped about half the glass on to my laptop. I was in the other room and was alerted by his cries. I rushed in, mopped up the mess and shut the laptop down hoping it would start up again once it had dried overnight…it didn’t. Despite punching the on button several times, taking out the battery, giving it a shake etc etc, my poor old laptop was dead. I spent yesterday ranging between being angry at him, lamenting the loss of my computer and worrying about how much it would cost to fix (if it could be fixed).

Then a thought struck me…I wondered if I could fix it myself.

So with the  help of my android phone, I looked on the internet, found what I was looking for and before I knew it I had the keyboard off and was giving it a wee clean. Normally I would be too afraid of damaging stuff to do something like that, but I was missing the laptop, missing being on the internet and I thought ‘what the hell’. I put it all back together and with a drumming heart, pressed the on switch.

The laptop burst into life and I felt extremely pleased with myself (and sighed a huge sigh of relief!!!). Anyway, it’s working now…thank goodness!

So going back to bread making. I’ve been making the rustic Spanish loaf from the Hairy Biker’s latest baking book and it’s been working. I tried it first by kneading the dough in my food processor and got great results. Then I tried it by hand….and I actually made something edible!! Here’s the proof…

I’ve also been working on my two small quilts I made the kids. They are a bit wonky, but the kids like then and that’s all that matters. They’ve been wrapping themselves in them at night and snuggling down to sleep.

Dawn xxxx


PS had to resend this blog again because I’d forgotten to give it a title and for some reason the bread image didn’t show…oooops!