Our Trip to the Land of Honey aka Malta – Day 1

Posted On 02/05/2013

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This post is nearly a year overdue, but as we are gearing up for our next holiday, I thought I would look back at last years, which I never posted. Hmm, sorry. Thankfully, I kept a travel journal to help remember what happened.

So last May we had a big holiday to Malta. The weather was glorious although a little too hot for us.

But aside from that, it was fantastic! We definitely want to go back again and check out all the places we didn’t get to visit the first time around.

Our first day was so long, I didn’t sleep for the best part of 48 hours with all the travelling.The travelling was pretty uneventful, although a note to the family three rows ahead – if your child has already been ill on the flight, don’t feed him a double chocolate muffin, it wasn’t fair on the flight attendant to clean up that mess, nor the person who would next have to sit in that chair.

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When we arrived at the hotel we were pleasantly surprised, although we take Trip Advisor reviews with a pinch of salt, we were a bit concerned but there was nothing to be worried about.

The best bit about our hotel? We got given our wristbands whilst we waited to check into our rooms. You know we went straight up to the pool bar!

Our room was huge and spotlessly clean, the only thing which let it down was the bathroom as it was a bit tired looking and the shower had very low pressure.

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We had a full lunch in the restaurant and the selection was huge : salads, antipasti, pasta, soup, meat and fishe dishes, and most importantly a gorgeous chocolate gateau and lemon meringue pie. (Apologies for the lack of pictures, but I’m sure you can imagine it)

The next day, and my next post will be Valletta, the capital.

Eleven Questions

This has come from Caitlin‘s blog, and I encourage you to answer question 11.

1. In baseball each player gets a “walk up song” that plays on his way up to the plate. What song would you pick?

 Aaargh! So many songs but this one always brings a smile to my face and gets me wiggling :

2. What’s the best thing that happened to you last weekend?

 Well, last weekend I turned 27 and had a lovely afternoon tea with my parents. I promise to post pictures soon.

3. If you could have a starring role in any film already made, which movie would you pick?

I would be Jane Russell’s character in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Dorothy Shaw. The outfits, the songs, the elegance, and well this number may just say it all :

4. What actor/actress would you have play you in a movie of your life?

I’ve got to go with a British actress, and although she’s only come to light in the past couple of years, I think Joanna Vanderham is who I’d want. We’re not much alike looks wise, but I like her attitude in her shows.

http://www.imdb.com/media/rm1336778752/nm4092740

5. What is your favorite quote?

 “There’s no point in living if you can’t feel alive” Garbage, The World Is Not Enough

6. What was your first concert?

My parents arranged for me to see Take That as a surprise one evening, and it was the infamous tour with Howard Donald’s bum!

7. What Internet website do you visit the most?

Facebook.

8. Which of Snow White’s 7 dwarfs describes you the best and why?

 Doc, because I wear glasses and according to the Wikipedia entry he mixes up his words a lot, which I seem to be doing at the moment!?

9. If you were on death row, what would your last meal be?

A cheese and beans toastie, followed by a bowl of good quality vanilla ice cream all washed down with San Pellegrino Limonata

10. What is the background of your computer?

As I’m on Windows 8, I have a slideshow of images from France to inspire me for both my studies and our upcoming Road Trip.

And the eleventh question is… to you!  Answer one of the ten above!

Long time no speak

Posted On 17/03/2013

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I hadn’t forgotten about you, it’s just things have been crazy busy the past few weeks, and I haven’t had anything to really report on!

Firstly, I have been spending a lot of time on my OU (Open University) study, and as of Tuesday night, submitted my first assignment. I think it’s fair to say I was bricking it, as this is the first assignment in French I have done in eight years! But, I’ve already had my marks back and I’m on course with where I want to be at this stage. I haven’t listened to my feedback yet, I’m still trying to get the courage up!

Secondly, Mr H has been so busy with work that every chance I’ve had to be with him I’ve taken. He’s left for the Lake District this afternoon and I won’t see him again now until Thursday. But, we are going away for an early birthday weekend so I get some unspoiled time with him.

I owe you a February Bake of the Month, and although I made the bake, I forgot to photograph it, so I will be catching up on that shortly.

I’ll be back to regular posting now, so coming up will also be a review of the comedy night we went on last Friday as well as photos from my upcoming birthday weekend.

Review Post – Dave’s Comedy Festival

First of all apologies this post has no pictures, but in the rush to get out I forgot my camera, and those that Rainbow took are not fit for public consumption!

Rainbow and Buddy came down this weekend and to while away the evening we went to the Dave Comedy Festival, which in a word was awesome!

The reason for the last minute rush was due to our printer rejecting the ink and we therefore could not print off the second act’s tickets. One quick phonecall to the ticket hotline and they printed off the tickets for us to pick up after dinner. Thank you very much guys, couldn’t have asked for more!

The first act was “The Geeks Strike Back”, billed as :

A long time ago on a comedy stage not so far away …
It is a bright time for geeks and stand-up comedy. Danish comedians Niels Forsberg, Morden May, and Mads Brynnum have been hiding in a secret base for the past year. Now they’re ready with a show that’s guarantied to score a critical hit. A show about all the important things in life: zombies, Death Stars, board games, and evil plans of world domination.

These guys were very funny, and I am ashamed to say I got the majority of the jokes. I guess that makes me a geek of some description, although I’m not sure what flavour yet!

The Exchange Bar was an odd little venue, with the act taking place downstairs. The seating was a complete mix of occasional chairs and little sofas. Buddy was delighted by the spinning chair in front of him, although the guy in front didn’t enjoy spilling his drink as he was spun round by said delighted person. I did like the intimacy and quirkiness of the venue, but it wasn’t completely soundproofed from the bar above so there was quite a bit of background noise. And on the way out, we couldn’t find the stairs due to the curtain covering it and followed several bemused men into the gents!

Then, it was a quick walk away to the Belmont Hotel to see Grainne Maguire’s show “If I could just love myself as much as I love Ed Miliband, my life would be perfect”.

That was all we knew about the show beforehand, except for a short Youtube video on the events listing. I have to admit part of the reason for booking this show was the location and the time it was showing, but she was great.

Her views on Kate Middleton opened my eyes to a more cynical viewpoint. What I did like about her act was that at the end she wrapped up the stories and linked them together with a sort of moral lesson to the story. I would definitely go to see her again, so fingers crossed she is around next year.

We finished off the night at the Lansdowne for a cocktail or two, and only as we left did we clock Grainne was sat in there with her manager (I assume). Would have liked to have spoken to her after the set to congratulate her, but the moment had passed and we had the night bus to catch.

So would I go to the Dave Comedy Festival again? Definitely, the entire night cost broke down as follows :

  • Ticket for the Geeks – £5 + booking fee + credit card fee
  • Ticket for Grainne Maguire – £3 + booking fee
  • Dinner at Pizza Express – £13 for 3 courses using a voucher

It was a cheap night out but full and relaxed, I’m not much into clubbing and the like anymore so it was fantastic to have a good night out and get the endorphins flowing!

On a side note, the other morning I was very confused to walk to work hearing the sound of Big Ben. After checking Facebook a few days later, I found the culprit :

And so it begins

I’ve had these for a while now, but it all hit home today as I had my first tutorial.

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Not having spoken French properly in nearly eight years, I have to admit I was somewhat nervous

(okay I didn’t sleep well last night because I was bricking it!)

But I couldn’t have been more wrong, today’s session in Nottingham was tiring but I think I handled it pretty well. My French was far from perfect but that’s fine, only the tutor is fluent at this stage!

I’ve spent the past week working through the first Session in the materials and learning all about how the French holiday, as well as trying out the educational version of Skype.

It all seems to be going well at the moment, but I think it’s really going to hit home when I have my first TMA (Tutor Marked Assignment) to submit in a few weeks time.

In other news, I bought too many blueberries earlier this week and have already produced Blueberry and Lime muffins, with a Blueberry Upside Down Cake to follow this afternoon.

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If I have some extra berries after all this, can anyone suggest another recipe I could use?

Angry Insects and the Pudding Night

Posted On 27/01/2013

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Last night we went to a Pudding Club in my MILs village, with all puddings made by the local WI. Heaven!!!!

Imagine a long wall lined with tables groaning with over 30 different puddings, jugs of cream and custard and a crepes suzette stand down one end. I’m asking you to imagine this as I forgot to take a picture, whoops!

Over the course of the evening we were invited to try as many desserts as our stomachs could hold, buy tickets for the raffle and tombola, and take part in the quizzes.

Mr H and I did fairly well in the pudding stakes, as seen by the pictures below. My personal favourite was the Rhubarb and Raspberry Crumble, and I currently have two portions sat in my fridge for tonights dinner!

Pudding Night Collage

I walked away from the tombola with a GI cookbook, Coffee Mug set and a bottle of Irish Meadows (cheaper version of Baileys). Towards the end of the night we noticed a fellow table returning from the tombola stand and holding up a tube of Vagisil. After a bit of an investigation by our table mate, it turns out that there was also Strawberry flavoured lube, and a packet of condoms with a complimentary vibrating cock ring. After about five minutes of laughing so hard at this “prize” having been offered on the tombola, it turned out another person on that table had brought it from home to deliver it as part of their Secret Santa. Given that my MIL is part of the WI, I can tell you I was greatly relieved that the Secret Santa present had not come through the tombola (excuse all puns)

Now onto the Angry Insects. One of the quizzes was 25 cryptic clues posted around the room, each revealing a type of pudding. A lot of trading went on to discover the answers of No’s 4 (Scottish Regiments), 13 (Heavenly Kingdom Shapes) and 25 (Angry Insects). Can anyone guess them?

No. 4 – Scottish Regiments – Highlanders (never heard of this dessert)

No. 13 – Heavenly Kingdom Shapes – Paradise Squares – (again, never heard of this one either)

No. 25 – Angry Insects – Croissants or Cross Ants

After hearing the answer to 25, I would never have gotten it as I don’t pronounce it that way, but nee matter. The grand prize was a wooden spoon!

Resolutions for 2013

I decided this year not to make any resolutions as a lot of what I want to do with my life, aims and such I put into my 101 in 1001 list.

There are a few things I will/aiming to accomplish this year though from the list :

3 – Go on a road trip

We will be going to France this summer camping, and going on our first road trip!

9 – Finish decorating the bedroom

We are nearly there now, and I want to try and get it sorted before my degree gets underway, if not, it will be November before it gets done!

11 – Have Christmas all organised and ready to go in advance

This is going to be especially important as my exams will be in October – my normal Christmas prep period – and I would like to not have to be stressing about Christmas the same time as I try to remember basic rules of french grammar!

21 – Create a menu plan according to French Women Don’t Get Fat and 27 – Shop seasonally for at least four months

Already started this as part of a healthy start to the year

35 – Restart my degree

35 - Restart my degree

35 – Restart my degree

Countdown to 2nd February!

37 – Learn how to park in the Honda

The Honda is poorly at the moment, so this may not be needed, but if it recovers I need to get on top of this before I have to travel for a tutorial. Not being able to reverse park in the leviathan is embarrassing!

45 – Organise paperwork
I will be finishing this task this weekend in order to prepare my desk space for OU study.
54 – Cross a glacier on foot
I had forgotten about this until just now, but I may be able to do this when we go camping …
59 – Go to a comedy club
We will definitely be doing this as we were given a voucher for dinner and a comedy night at Jongleurs by my brother and sister in law.
69 – Tidy up my eyebrows
This will be a birthday treat as I swear they are trying to take over my face!
70 – Grow my hair out
It’s now just below my shoulders, and I’ve got another 8 inches to go.
Wow, 12 items and I still have more which will be done at some point this year. Maybe it’s a good thing I don’t do resolutions?
Whilst I chew on all this, I’ll leave you with the promise for my first Bake of the Month post coming up this weekend – Baizelnut Muffins.

Dear 2012

Dear 2012, You have definitely been busy this year :

January

Mr H and I welcomed you in at a Halloween themed party.

A very last minute witch costume for New Years Evil!

A very last minute witch costume for New Years Evil!

We celebrated our First Wedding Anniversary.

Mr H with his eco friendly walking stick, and me as the Shadow

Mr H with his eco friendly walking stick, and me as the Shadow

We got dressed up 50’s styley for a friends 21+29th Birthday.

jayne's birthday

February

Bit of a quiet month, life just ticked by.

March

I attempted the Chase Walk and Mr H actually finished it.

Celebrated my 26th Birthday and the end of the first blog.

April

Not a lot happened here again as we were gearing up for our holiday.

May

Took a gorgeous trip to Malta – promise I will post about that in 2013.

Welcome to Malta!

Welcome to Malta!

Launched my new blog, albeit a few months later than planned.

We had a Eurovision party.

June

A freak hailstorm took out our conservatory roof.

July

I saw Garbage in concert, whoo!!!!!

I put together my 101 in 1001 list.

August

Mr H and I hosted a backyard campout and released some sky lanterns.

Sky Lanterns

Sky Lanterns

September

Mr H and I went to Festwich, where I managed to get sunburnt(?!?).

My best friends got engaged in dramatic fashion.

The convervatory roof was finally fixed.

October

We went to Wales to celebrate Mr H’s birthday.

Honey Ice Cream

Honey Ice Cream

Went to a Hallowe’en party and posed Gangnam Style!

Hallowe'en Gangnam Style!

Hallowe’en Gangnam Style!

November

Busy with family stuff. but nothing really blog worthy.

December

Mr H and I had an early second anniversary get away.

2nd anniversary

Christmas and New Year came and went with the norovirus and a family bereavement.

Cherry Bakewell Cocktail and Downton Abbey Christmas Special

Cherry Bakewell Cocktail and Downton Abbey Christmas Special

Coming Up in 2013

2013 promises to be a packed year :

I will be starting my Open University course in February…

… for which I will be getting a shiny new laptop so I can blog a lot easier!

I will be introducing a new Bake of the Month feature.

Mr H and I will be finishing off getting the house done as we may be moving house! *eeeeeeee!!!!!*

Merry Christmas from the H Household

Posted On 24/12/2012

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Norovirus wiped me out this week so apologies for radio darkness.

However, I am now well enough to be looking forward to today’s Christmas schenanigans and nibbles.

Have a very Merry Christmas everyone and …

A Premature Anniversary Weekend

So Mr H and I have just got back from an early anniversary weekend away in the Peak District, and on this occasion we stayed in a shepherd’s hut. More specifically, this shepherd’s hut :

Shepherd'sHut

We spent the weekend in the hut, enjoying the view,

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Visited Poole’s Cavern in Buxton (the Christmas lights aren’t usually there, it was for the benefit of Santa who was sat near the entrance)

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Then went onto Bakewell to debate which is better, Tart or Pudding?

I voted for pudding, Mr H was a tart man. Coincidentally, the pudding was the dessert at our wedding.

L - Tart from the Bakewell Tart Shop. R - Pudding from the Original Bakewell Pudding Shop

L – Tart from the Bakewell Tart Shop. R – Pudding from the Original Bakewell Pudding Shop

Sunday we then went to Carsington Water for the “Strenuous Walk” although we struggled to see the horizon in the fog.

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And then found a bizarre wooden house.

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Yes, you can see a piano, cuckoo clock and telephone. The lamps and TV were in the corners?!

I gave up taking pictures after we came across the sheep, as I hadn’t quite realised how out of shape I was and I wasn’t in the best mood!

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So, as a review of the hut, here goes:

When we arrived Linda, the owner, had put the fire on and a hot water bottle in the sheets so it was toasty as we arrived.

Yes, straight into bed with a book

Yes, straight into bed with a book

The hut is more spacious than the pictures show, both here and on their website.  Mr H is ~6ft2 and was able to stand up in it quite easily, just mind your head as you come in if you’re a tall one!

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Everything was well thought out and comfortable and we are looking to book again.

Also, the bacon roll hamper was immense!

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2 bacon rolls each wrapped in foil, china plates, china mugs, china jug of milk, ketchup and two types of brown sauce, napkins and you can get a thermos of coffee as well (we declined)

However, I would give some advice if you book :

If you like to read in bed, bring a bright light or head torch as the lanterns inside the hut offer a nice ambient light, but aren’t bright enough to read by. Having the light will be useful if you use the shower hut, as it’s a bit dark in there!

If you make a hot drink in the mugs, be careful as the handles get a bit hot :

Yes, that's a sock on my hand, why?

Yes, that’s a sock on my hand, why?

Because the mug is too hot to handle!

Because the mug is too hot to handle!

Food wise :

First night we went to the Bluebell Inn, just up the A515. Fantastic food, too full to even order dessert – WTF?

Saturday brunch we went to Bar Brasserie in Buxton. Fabulous French restaurant, the tartiflette was gorgeous!

Saturday dinner was at the Market Place Fish and Chip restaurant where you can eat in. Only the bread and butter let it down, but hey ho, we weren’t in Yorkshire.

Things to Do :

Poole’s Cavern in Buxton is well worth a visit. There is a lot for kids to do and there are woodland trails, but the weather was against us so we wandered around Buxton and Bakewell town centre. Strangest thing I saw in Buxton? People filling up massive water bottles from the Buxton water fountain.

We have visited Carsington Water so many times now. You can do one of three walks, each at a different energy level. There is a restaurant which we have never seen as the queue for it has always trailed out the door. There are also some shops to have a wander around – great place for families.

And on a side note, I did have a few wardrobe malfunctions this weekend because despite writing a packing list, I didn’t follow it.

Let this be a lesson to me – stick to the list!!!!!

Roll on Christmas, I am now chilled out to appreciate it!

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