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Showing posts from 2011

Evie's plan for Christmas Day

My faux-niece Evie is clearly taking after her faux-aunt and her mother and written a plan for us all to follow on Christmas Day.. It goes: Wake Up > presents > play > play with presents.... Wise words for us all to adhere too! Nadolig Llawen / Merry Christmas everyone xxx

Cupcake Heaven

Published: 2011

Technically a magazine, but with 101 recipes, a pretty chunky one...

Heinz Baked Beans

Part of Pete's Secret Santa present, surprisingly veggie friendly..
This is also, not our only Heinz branded cookbook

Hoorah for snowballs!

Yeah for alcoholic custard! I think it's fair to say the festive party season is well and truley started!

Late Produce from the garden

The garden needs a proper tidy up at some point, and we need to start thinking about planting for next year but it's nice to see it still producing some things - that's a healthy punnet of grapes, which we doubt is enough to make wine with, but maybe grappa or something, and some blueberries, destined for some pancakes or maybe muffins....

Home from Bcn

I'm back from a quick jaunt to Barcelona with Jess to see mam and do some Christmas Shopping. I've also brought home some family heirlooms... (we picked up cheerful Santa and his cheerleading angels from the Christmas Market in Dusseldorf years ago)

Awesome photo of Stafford on the lights switch on

We were stood somewhere on the back, right, near the tree.

The Jazzberry cometh...

The finished upstairs bathroom (previously a room too depressing to take photos of)

A spot of DIY on a sunny Saturday


We're decorating the upstairs bathroom (inbetween taps being fitted and there being a new floor being laid) and here's a scrap of the original, original wallpaper.

We're going to paint it a sexy shade of 'jazzberry' (purple that is) but the horrid peeling wallpaper needs to go first.

But for a brief moment, while Pete reaches the high up bits on the only tall ladder we have I'm sat on a step on the landing, having a cup of tea and listening to The News Quiz on Radio 4.

Hitchcock on Film

Jess has snagged tickets to a VIP Screening of The Birds tonight in Brum, I didn't realise how excited I was about it until I realised I was picking out a pretty outfit.
It's being shown as art of - and it promises to be an 'interactive experience'. Should be fun...
Update - some pictures from the event - it was really awesome!

I was thinking on the way to work this morning a Hitchcock themed Halloween party would be ace (maybe next year)


One of the wonderful courses from a charming little restaurant in Vasto - I could get use to these 'cultural exchanges'

250 Tasty Thanksgiving Recipes (Kindle Version)

The kindle app is great, and since I have it on my netbook (as well as my phone) I'm not adverse to digital versions of cook books - especially if they're only 86 pence, and it's instant delivery.
This year, since December is already busy we're having thanksgiving with the in-laws instead...

A lovely weekend for Mr. Wearn's 30th

And here endeth a week of festivities hearalding Pete's 30th birthday.

There has been much lunching, gathering of friends, balloons, cake, drink and a surprise trombone (sorry neighbours)

Thank you everyone for making it a really special evening!

Pottermore - Hufflepuff (Ha! I knew It!!)

I've been playing with Pottermore for a few days, I got my wand yesterday (Length: 11 1/2 in Wood:Cedar Core:Dragon Flexibility:Surprisingly Swishy) and I took the sorting hat challenge earlier, and I'm in...

Which actually comes as no surprise since I've always said I'd be good Hufflepuff material! I've been interesting in it all from a games / transmedia / marketing point of view, but it is very charming, and well done.


Fun and games with an impromptu bowling session at Tenpin Bowling! (we later went to Pizza Hut, then Joxers - much of the evening was sponsored by the VoucherCloud App)

My New Uni Game is Out

Finally - the virtual campus project I've been working on with various peeps in the university and Jisc is out - go, download, explore our campuses, work out what you'd need to do to enrol. Link to Download | Project Blog

Banal Domestic Dream alert

Woke up from a lovely dream that (a young) Mick Jagger and Natascha McElhone had come round for dinner. Mick was digesting on the sofa chatting to Pete about allotments and Natascha and I were doing the washing up. Naturally, it was all our plates, but my childhood home in Taffs Well...

Silly brain...

Not on EYB - Around Britain Dairy Cookbook

Author: Nick Rowe
Date: 2006
Published: Eaglemoss Publications
Amazon Link: Around Britain Dairy Cookbook

One of the 3 books I've won in the raffle, wonder if it's as comprehensive as #15

New office

Looks like I'll be back in tomorrow!

Vintage NomBook - Cooking with F.R.I.E.N.D.S

Author: Amy Lyles Wilson
Date: 1996
Published: Rutledge Hill
Amazon Link:

Meat Trifle anyone?

#4sqldn (Apps Round Up Part 1 - London)

Jess & Neil are in London, this wouldn't usually be worth noting, but I've set them a competition - but it's simple, whichever of them has the biggest gain in foursquare points by midnight on Friday gets a prize - I'm not asking them to go anywhere specific, or do anything, but they've accepted the challenge and I'm sure Pete ins't right in that I've created a monster.

One of the reasons I did this was we were in London at the end of June, not the first time we've done a quick jaunt to the capital for a break, but I decided to put my Android Smart Phone to good use.

Aside form Foursqure - which I already use, and love, and I've spoken at a few places about it (I'm fascinated about how it can make people change thier plans, or behaviours) and Chromarama which I'd already signed up for but I think I hit the wrong window to see my journeys - but go yellow team!) I thought I'd explore what else my smart phone could do.

I downloaded a…

Cupcakes & Robots

Ok blog, (and by inference everyone that reads it) I haven't really been ignoring you, in fact my phone is full of half written notes that I'm sure would have made excellent, witty, insightful blogs but to the honest the last few months have been manic, flipping between horrible and wonderful - and at some point I'll write it all up, perhaps.

Until then, lets just start afresh. The blog post title, in case you were wondering, is a fair assessment of the cards / gifts I got for my birthday - many cards with cupcakes, many robot related presents (and sometimes the other way around)

Not On EYB - Catalan Cuisine

Author: Colman Andrews
Date: 2007 (Original 1997)
Published: Grub Street
Amazon Link: Catalan Cuisine: Europe's Last Great Culinary Secret

Birthday present! Thank you sweetie x
It also looks like it's full of yummy salt cod recipes - yeah for salt cod...

Ooh, update, I found a veggie recipe! -

 Mallorcan Aubergine Omelette (it was very moorish!)Vegetable Paella with artichoke hearts

The oddest dream..

I don't usually remember dreams but I've just woken up from an ace one my buddies from afternoon play will appreciate:

My schoolgirl self, and naturally an old school friend I've not seen in a decade, were picked, along with other girls of about 14/15 to join a secret elite, girls only board game academy / boarding school - the mission statement of the place was to make us excel at strategy boardgames like Carcassonne, Settlers & Monopoly in order to shape a generation of women capable of running the county, Enders Game style...

I think it sounds epic, anyone want to buy the film rights....

200 cookbooks milestone

originally posted on
I've reached a bit of a milestone in my effort to catalogue the cookbook collection - I've reached 200 titles - there's a couple more, but I'm almost grateful it's not close to 300 I thought we had - that does seem a little obscene.
I'm not done, I need to cross reference, some how, and work out which ones I've missed - and any new ones will get added of course - I've also started actually using it, noting successful recipes I cook out of them (and trying to get Pete to do the same).
It's also proved my initial theory that blogging and tagging does make for a pretty useful inventory system you can access from anywhere.

200 Cookbook on Nombooks

I've reached a bit of a milestone in my effort to catalogue the cookbook collection - I've reached 200 titles - there's a couple more, but I'm almost grateful it's not close to 300 I thought we had - that does seem a little obscene.
I'm not done, I need to cross reference, some how, and work out which ones I've missed - and any new ones will get added of course - I've also started actually using it, noting successful recipes I cook out of them (and trying to get Pete to do the same).
It's also proved my initial theory that blogging and tagging does make for a pretty useful inventory system you can access from anywhere.

Vintage NomBook - My Kitchen

Author: Mrs Shantaben Anubhai Patel

This is an independently produced cookbook my mother in law gave us as part of an indian curry set (balti dishes, food warmer etc) - She 's a local woman in Swindon who'se written down all of her family recipes.

Vintage NomBook - The Food Processor Cookbook

Yep, It's a cookbook about using your food processor - lots of recipes for smooth things like dips

Not on EYB - Cortijo Cookery

Author: Anne & Bill Brett Date: 2005 Published: Self published (
The in-laws brought this after a walking holiday in Andalusia - It's clearly made with cooking for large groups - everything that would usually involve saffron is substituted with yellow food colouring...

Vintage NomBook - High-Fiber Vegetarian Cookery

Author: Pamela Westland Date:  Published: 

There are just some cookbooks you don't pass up the opportunity to own when you see them in a charity shop - lots of things with wholemeal pasta and flour - very wholefood revolution...

Vintage NomBook - The Whiskies of Scotland

Author: R.J.S. McDowall Date:  Published: 
One for Pete..

Vintage NomBook - Bonbons and Simple Sugar Sweets

Author: Louisa Thorpe Date:  Published: 

Mmm, sweeties (I brought this is a 2nd hand book shop in Sidmouth - there is nothing easy about dealing with boiling sugar)

Not on EYB - Cook Shelf Vegetarian

Probably the smallest cookbook we have, tiny great for backpacking (so I'm told)

Vintage NomBook - Burns Supper Companion

Author: Hugh Douglas Date:  Published:

We have held Burns night dinners before now (I <3 haggis) alas we haven't held one since I picked up this book in a charity shop in Whitby...

Vintage NomBook - Home-Grown Vegetables


This is either National Trust, or RHS - either way we've never had a massive success with growing veg, we tend to go on holiday and forget about it, or forget where we've planted it in the garden (which means somewhere are massive garlic bulbs...)

Vintage NomBook - The Pip Book

Author: Keith Mossman
Published: Penguin

At some point this collection may overlap with the gardening books - not there are many, but this is a fabulously single minded book, it's entirely dedicated with growing things from pips...

Vintage NomBook - Cooking Basics

I think this was part of a random set of 8 books Pete brought from 99p world - it really is basic, how to fry and egg etc,

Vintage NomBook - The Earnest Drinker

This isn't really a cocktail book, or a guide to drinks - it's pretty much an essay on why booze is good. My husband brought it as a gift - I'm not sure what that says about me, or my levels of alcohol consumption...

Vintage NomBook - New Farmhouse Fare

This marks a difference form the other Farmhouse Fare book we have on the basis it deal much more with freezing and microwaving bit of pigs instead of turning them into black pudding...

Vintage NomBook - Recipes from Wales

I think there's a good chance I stole this from my mother when I left for uni to stave off pangs of Hiraeth

Vintage NomBook - Hamlyn's Fondue Cookbook

Author: Jill Spencer
Date: 1980 (original 1976)
Published: Hamlyn

Believe it or not this is a different Fondue cookbook to the other one we own

Socrates the olive tree

So, it turns out my husband and I are pretty much the same person, in that we almost brought each other identical gifts for our 4th wedding anniversary (This year it's fruit & flowers) - but he got there first. It's quite funny in a twisty little way.
He brought me an olive tree, because I've been looking at olive trees, because I wanted to buy him an olive tree - I didn't in the end because he's said things like we don't have room, or it won't survive, because he didn't want me to randomly buy an olive tree, because he wanted to buy me an olive tree - because I'd been looking at olive trees....
Can you see how this has gotten a little silly.
He also surprised me with the olive tree in an identical way I was going to do to him - down to the red bow (I know there's not many ways you can wrap a tree) - and he'd also thought about hiding it in the shed - which, if I'd have brought him an olive tree, is where I would have hid it.
I even wro…

"Believe It Or Not" Salad and Other Dishes From the 1933 Congressional Cook Book

Via The Hairpin - click the book to see some recipes. - It would be a great addition to #122

DC Super Heroes Super Healthy Cookbook

Easter / May Holiday Round Up

Ok, so it's the last day of the long, extended Easter / May / Royal Wedding break - and just for my own sanity a little bit of a round up.
Games The thing I've realised is that I really really like sim / strategy / tactics games - and RPG's - but mainly games that are silly, or have a big comedy aspect. So, even though things like Arkham Asylum are pretty, and I'm sure Portal 2 is great - (I've not finished Portal yet) - I've logged so many, many hours playing Evil Genius over the last week or so. I've also played a lot of Grotesque Tactics: Evil Heroes & Magicka (I'm up for playing Magicka Multiplayer if anyone else has it - add me on Steam etc etc)
I've already mentioned the Bank Holiday Wii Game session
And board games - Afternoon Play(I've spent a bit of time tidying up some of the stuff on AP - including a blog with links to all the games we've played.) was yesterday and by request of people I brought the Lego Creationary game - a bit o…