Monday, 30 November 2009

Domestic Monday

I was very tired today due to poor sleep and night-time asthma. As a result, I've been home all day although it was a beautifully sunny day. I hope I sleep better tonight.

This loaf was part of my handiwork today and very nice it was too. I also made a delicious soup but I'm afraid I'd eaten some and packed away more in the freezer before it occurred to me to photograph it. I'll tell you what was in it though.

Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash soup with Chickpeas

1 butternut squash
1 sweet potato
1 tin chickpeas or chickpeas cooked from dry
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 leek
1 small red onion
Cayenne pepper or 1 red chilli
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons cumin
Vegetable bouillon or stock
Juice of one lemon

I cooked all these together and blended them once the vegetables were cooked. It was quite spicy and really tasty. I do not add salt to much of my cooking or, if I do, I use Lo Salt, due to suffering hypertension. I don't always use vegetable stock for the same reason but I find that adding some spices and using lemon juice can substitute for salt to an extent. It was very tasty and so was the bread.

Cooking so much soup is part of my armoury against being overweight. It's nutritious and filling. The bread was really tasty and making such a large and yummy loaf was a bit of an error as I'm tempted to keep on munching it. Ah well, at least I've had no pudding...

Hope your week started well.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Coffee with friends

If you've been following my blog then you will have seen this chappy before. I took some lovely shots of him and his mum but somehow this strangely composed one is my favourite. In case you prefer the more conventional then here are a couple more.

We had a lovely afternoon and now, sadly, I have to pack up and make the journey home. It's very cold here and I can't make up my mind whether travel by bus or by train will be more comfortable. The bus guarantees a seat and is less prone to delay but the train is faster when it's functioning well...

Hope you have a great Sunday.

Afternoon trip to South Queensferry

I never got around to posting my blog yesterday so here's yesterday's image. We went to South Queensferry in the afternoon and took some pictures in the fog. This one is also a lensbaby shot. I quite liked playing with the combination of the fog and the lensbaby distortion.

Here's a lensbaby shot of the lovely man too.

We were out dining with friends last night and I was so busy having fun that I never took any photos. Imagine - a three pudding meal! We were in heaven!

Friday, 27 November 2009

Lovely lunch

I arrived early in Edinburgh to meet P for lunch. Of course we had to photograph it. What you see in front of me is chicken teriyaki. It was delicious. The other dish is a pork one which was also tasty. The starter was also delicious. It was Dragon sushi. When I say starter - well we actually got it after our main course and were a bit too full by then to eat it all. It means that the lovely man got to taste it too.

Are you hungry now? How many pictures of food do I put on my blog? Hmm. Quite a few. I do love nice food. I also love the company of good friends. So there are a lot of photos of them too.

Here she is again.

Thanks P for a lovely afternoon!

I've now been fed again by the lovely man and am looking forward to a lovely relaxed evening with him. Life is good!

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Surprizing and lovely evening

This photo isn't particularly remarkable. I took some better ones this evening but this image says more about my evening than the others which I may put on Flickr later.

This is K who you will have seen before if you have been looking at my pictures for a while. I went to meet him in the early evening in a cafe on Duke Street Glasgow. It's a cafe that has lovely food but when we got hungry K suggesteda new place along the road that he'd heard about.

It turned out that it was an Indian restaurant but that it hadn't quite opened yet. They were happy to feed us though. We had three courses and the food was excellent. It was certainly way above the standard that we can find so close to us but would be in the running in the top ten Indian restaurants in Glasgow as far as I was concerned - perhaps even the top five.

We had a really lovely evening and I really regret that I can't remember the name of the place. I asked so I would know but I'm an old thing that can't keep that stuff in my head too long. The long and the short of it is that we had an unexpectedly good evening with some excellent food and I'm  really excited that we will have a restaurant of that quality near me. If you live in the area then it is on Duke Street in the terrace just along from the Bank of Scotland cash machine (or is it Royal Bank?) and going towards the Post Office.

I have got to get to bed now and get ready for lunch tomorrow with Penny which I'm really looking forward to and then my weekend with the lovely man.I hope you're all having a lovely sleep.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Another wet and windy day

I'm still struggling to produce pictures in this weather - as are many of you. This picture is of a bowl I made some years ago when I did ceramics at college. I loved it but it is a hard hobby to keep up due to the need for equipment and space.

A quiet night in tonight hiding from the winter. Here's a video to cheer your evening. Thanks to Bee for posting this on Facebook.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Morning photo

This is an early morning photo (at least early for me) of guys cleaning up leaves at a local train station. It's now one of my best but it's one of the few I took today.

I saw my doc today and he was fairly happy with me which is good. I also then saw my friend P. I was so busy catching up and having a nice time with her that I took no photos. Every time I stepped outside it was raining heavily and really windy so this is the best there is for today. It's so hard to feel inspired to take photos when it is so cold, dark and wet. I know though that the discipline is worth it as I will take some more interesting photos when I make sure I have a camera with me all the time. I know that some of you viewing this are struggling with the same lack of motivation. You are the people who inspire me so don't give up.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Look what came in the post today

I got this letter today and thought I'd make it the subject of my blog as, once more, I haven't had a chance to get a decent photo.

I'm asthmatic so I come into the category of people who get offered the swine flu vaccination. I'll discuss it with my doctor tomorrow but I don't think I'll be going for it. I have been trying to get detailed information but found that hard to come across. The most I've found is in a question and answer article by Channel 4 news

One thing I learned there is that mercury is among the chemicals used in the vaccine. There are some theories that some people are sensitive to mercury and this has been cited as a possible factor in arthritis. (I am also arthritic.) For that reason I will no longer have amalgam fillings and when the largest one I had was replaced, my joints did seem to improve radically. It is of course, not easy to say for certain why that was with such a variable condition but it seemed possible to me especially since I seem to react to a lot of chemicals and medications.

One of the things that frustrates me about the media reports on the swine flu vaccination is that they do not discuss why some people fear that it is not safe and nor do they give us detailed discussion of the health factors which mean some people are at a greater risk than others. This makes it very difficult to make an informed choice. My own feeling is that the risks from swine flu are grossly overstated for much of the population. I also suspect that I have already had it  and experienced it as a fairly mild illness. I would much prefer to have better information though, rather than make my decision based on media snippets and feelings.

I'll be out and about tomorrow and hope to be able to take some more exciting photos for you. Here's hoping that it's not too wet!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Julien watches Antiques

Julien and I are having a quiet Sunday evening. Here he is watching The Antiques Roadshow. I'm afraid my photography mojo is lacking at the moment. I should really get out this week and try something experimental but the wind and the rain outside isn't encouraging me.

Missing the lovely man this evening as he's made the journey back to Auld Reekie. Ah well, that's Sunday for you. Hope you're having a relaxing weekend. I think I'll watch some recorded stuff on TV as there isn't anything on that I want to see this evening. Hope you're having a relaxing Sunday.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Another lovely evening

It's been another lovely evening and day. Now we're going to have dessert - apple and filo tarts I made. My first time using filo....

Hope you're having a good evening.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Today's yummy meal

This was the meal I planned for this evening that I referred to yesterday. Thanks to chaiselongue for the tips and the link. I more or less did the same as you advised and was suggested in the linked recipe. This meal had a homemade passata base to which I added butterbeans and chorizo and cooked for bit. I then fried chunks of black pudding and added them not long before the end. The roasted veg was sweet potato, butternut squash and potato. What you don't see in the picture is the home made bread that went with it. I was very pleased with the outcome. The black pudding came from Lidl who do a good one which is also inexpensive. I would have liked to work on the photo more but I didn't want the food to get cold.

The lovely man is here and he's looking happy after his food. I am also happy and must now get back to an evening of relaxing. Will catch up with you all later.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Wooden mushroom

Today's image is dedicated to Jon who braves the weather and shows us some amazing shots of real fungi. This is a lensbaby macro shot of a little wooden mushroom I have. I like the textures and feel of it. Today was a day that I didn't want to face the 'orrible weather outside so it's been another domestic day with an indoor photo.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about food. One of the things I enjoy at the weekend is making nice food for the lovely man and myself. It's especially nice as I am dieting and my limited calorie intake is relaxed a bit at the weekend. I have lost 5lb in the last 3 weeks. I'm quite pleased with that, particularly when I had amazing desserts on our recent holiday in Berlin. What I'm contemplating making this weekend is a sort of Spanish type dish using black pudding, butter beans and chorizo. If anyone has cooked this kind of thing and has any ideas then let me know, otherwise I shall just make it up as I go along and then I'll let you know how it goes.

Now it's time to make my tea for tonight. Hope you're having a nice time. Not long now till the weekend.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Night in in front of the telly

It's one of those days where I haven't been out to get a photo so here I am in on the sofa and facing the telly. I'm not all that fond of this photo but it will have to do for today. Anyone know if there's anything good on telly tonight?

Think it will be an early night for me after socialising two evenings this week. That's what happens when you get old eh? Hope you're all having a nice evening. I'm off to do some serious vegging...

Winter evening lensbaby shots

I'm just home after a lovely evening where my meal was cooked for me and I had wine and the company of two great friends. I'm tired now and so will be heading for bed pretty soon.

Both of these shots were taken on the way to my friend's house. I took the lensbaby out with me tonight and these are both of Glasgow's Mitchell Library.

It's time for bed now. I hope you're having a good week. Night night.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Lovely night with a friend

My primary picture today was chosen as it illustrates having wine with a friend. I like it but my favourite photo is the one you see below where I feel I captured some of his expressiveness. This was taken with the camera at my side and he was still addressing me. 

I made a really nice soup and some lovely bread tonight. I've been in all day and it was great to have a pal come over. Hope your week started as well as mine. 

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Still cleaning

I'm afraid I've not got any exciting photos today or even a recipe. Once the lovely man went home again, it was back to cleaning. No Mo, I haven't finished my critter assault. It will take me some time given my low stamina for cleaning and the necessity to do it in segments in a small flat. Still, I'm feeling righteous.

It's been a really lovely weekend of nice food and a relaxing time with Mr Duck. I don't have much to say tonight but I'm just going to make a cup of tea and relax...

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Winter venison stew

When it's cold and damp it's nice to do the domestic things. I really enjoy cooking when I'm in the mood and it's much easier to be in the mood when there is someone to cook for. I don't tend to follow recipes though I read them for inspiration. As a result I sometimes make something tasty and totally forget what I did with it. I thought it might be good to write down my recipe here and then you can try it if you like and I can go back and see what I did. Tesco sells the diced venison relatively cheaply - £2.99 for 300g and that's what I used.

300g diced venison
1 small red onion
1 large leek
2 large carrots
Some chopped kale or cabbage
1/3 of a medium turnip
mixed dried beans (soaked overnight and almost cooked)
2 large cloves garlic
1 green chili
1 heaped teaspoon cumin
1 tin tomatoes
olive oil
1 oxo cube
1 tablespoon Bisto low salt gravy granules
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Chop all the veg. Heat olive oil in wok/saucepan and add chopped onion. Allow to soften and then add leek, chopped garlic, chili and cumin seeds. Cook for a few minutes then add venison and brown. Once browned add some water. Now add carrot, turnip, beans, kale, tomatoes, stock cube and bisto. Cook for about 2 - 2 1/2 hours. About half an hour before the end of cooking stir in the balsamic vinegar. We had it with brown basmati rice. It was really yummy! Would be nice with beef too.

Here is the lovely man checking all your blogs on his iPhone.

It's been a really lovely weekend so far and it's not over yet. I have some apple left and small apple tarts are coming soon :-)

Friday, 13 November 2009

Isn't he a lucky duck...

I continued the domestic thread today and made these apple turnovers. They don't look that elegant but they were very tasty. The lovely man and I have already polished off the lot of them!

I shan't say much this evening as I have some serious relaxing to do. I hope you're all having a great weekend.

Thursday, 12 November 2009


Today has been a day of cleaning. I want to make sure I get rid of the critters that found their way into my iron the other day. I've been cleaning cupboards all day and I bought a small Vax and have cleaned the living room rug. This shows how much muck came out of it - yeuch.

Now I'm knackered. I'm afraid that it's not a very exciting photo but it is representative of my day. It's nearly the weekend folks. Hooray!

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Visit from a pal

Here's F - another familiar face to those of you who've been following my pictures. I took a few pictures but the fuzziest was my favourite even though I hadn't used the lensbaby!

This next one is him when the tea ran out. Why is he drinking tea with a straw? you ask. He'd been to the dentist and his mouth was numb. That was great for me as I got his recommendation for a local dentist. I need one and my usual dentist is no longer practising. I won't go without a recommendation as I'm terrified!

I got the news today that I didn't get the job I was interviewed for this week. It was a really good letter though, saying that I would be kept in reserve. It was quite a positive experience in spite of not getting the job.

When I was preparing for the interview, I had a nasty encounter with beetles in my house that had got into the iron, of all things. It was revolting and just goes to show that I ought to give up ironing completely. I am now on a cleaning binge to dispose of any other unwanted guests. Back to the scrubbing then...

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Grey day in Glasgow

I've been having a quiet day recovering from all my exertions (and the pub) in the last week. I'm also getting over a cold. It was very grey today in Glasgow and it took a bit of playing with levels to get more colour in this shot but I liked the colour of the tree. I'm afraid I wasn't looking too far for my photo. I'm quietly ensconced on the sofa and will not stray far this evening. Anyone know if there's anything good on telly? I think another cuppa is in order. Hope the week is treating you all well.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Strange day

I just got back home last night after my holiday and learned that I had a job interview today. This picture was taken just after my interview. This is the River Clyde in the centre of Glasgow. I used to cross it every day on the way to work, not far from here. Sometimes it can look very beautiful.

It's really nice after an interview to meet a friend and I was lucky enough to meet K - familiar to those of you who have been following my pictures for a bit. I liked this picture I took of him:

I like these kind of blurry images. I was also happy to be reunited with my Lumix LX3 which I hadn't taken on holiday with me. I missed it.

Now to have a relaxing evening and wind down. i think that my interview went well but I won't know for a while.

Hope your week started well. I hope to catch up with you all soon.

Sunday - met up with old friend

This is the rather grand interior of Tiles, an Edinburgh pub I spent a few hours in last night before heading home. I was meeting a friend who I'd lost touch with and hadn't seen for some years. It was lovely to catch up.

I'm writing this on Monday. I'm feeling slightly stressed but in a good way. I came home to the news that I have an interview today so wish me luck! I'm off to prepare.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Lensbaby abstracts

We're both still unwell. I spent much of the night coughing though I don't feel too bad. Poor Mr Duck is very under the weather. We had to get out though to get some shopping and we took a detour to South Queensferry. I quite liked my abstract shots of the bridges. Here is another one:

I've not forgotten all your blogs and I look forward to catching up with you all but not tonight. I still have a few holiday shots to upload to Flickr too but not tonight. I hope you're having a great weekend.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Amsterdam on the way home

We're back in Edinburgh now - tired but having had a good holiday in spite of the weather. The sun, of course, came out in Berlin on the day we were leaving. We had five hours between flights in Amsterdam and managed a bit of a walkabout there. It was my first visit to Holland and it would be great to go back. I loved watching the cyclists - the quantity and the different styles. I have posted a few more pictures on Flickr and will post more tomorrow. I'll catch up on what I've been missing on your blogs over the weekend. Night night for now.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Berlin meet up

Here we have the group photo:

Sorry Mo, there isn't much of you there... Here's a nice picture of Mo and the lovely man:

It was so lovely to meet Mo. I hope we do it again some time - maybe even in the UK!

Sleepyduck has described our day pretty well on his blog. We are both feeling pretty unwell, which is a shame on holiday. We've still had a nice time though. The thing he failed to mention is that we are celebrating four years together today. They have been four very happy ones and we have produced many pictures in that time!

I took the lensbaby out and about in Berlin today. Here is one of my favourite pictures from our ambling and you can find more on Flickr.

Night night all - we have to pack and get up early tomorrow to head home and then it will be the weekend.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009


Taking lots of photos has been rendered difficult by the need to perpetually hold a brolly. Distinctly wintery weather today with snow and heavy rain. I think both of us are coming down with colds too and I'm still not able to walk far. We've still be enjoying the visit though some conditions could have been better for holidaying!

Today we travelled on the Ubahn fro the first time. I've posted a few more photos to Flickr today so do take a peek if you feel inclined. Am really looking forward to meeting Mo tomorrow.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

The Brandenburg Gate

Here is the top of the Brandenburg Gate, one of the places we visited today. I walked a little less today and was only slightly less sore. It's been a nice day though. I have posted a lot of pictures on Flickr so do have a look there. I'm too tired this evening to talk to you more about it all but I hope you're having a great week. My Flickr Berlin set can be found here.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Monday in Berlin

This is what the weather was like in Berlin pretty much all day. We walked around a lot for me and I bought a new woolly hat and gloves as it's a good bit colder than it was when we left Scotland. I only took the Canon compact out today as it's so small and handy. I'll probably take the Nikon tomorrow. 

In the evening we went to an Italian restaurant called Vapiano. At first it seemed a little intimidating when you don't speak good German as you were given a card and had to queue at a counter for pasta, another for antipasti, another for pizza and another for salad to order and have your card swiped. We both opted for pasta. It is cooked freshly in front of you. Here is ours being prepared:

By the time we got back to the hotel my feet were very sore. In spite of taking the highest possible dose of anti-inflammatory, I have been getting a lot of pain walking. They felt very hot and looked like this:

I don't want my inability to walk far to inhibit the lovely man's holiday and I can't help getting a bit moany when I get tired and sore but he has been unfailingly patient. Hopefully tomorrow we will walk a bit less. 

Now to cosy up in our posh hotel. There are many more Berlin photos which I'm adding to Flickr in a Berlin set.

First night in Berlin

We arrived in Berlin last night, tired after our journey and got to a very nice hotel. The room is bigger than my entire one bedroomed flat! The picture above is of number 96 having a fag. I have no idea why it says 96 on his bum.

We had to have bratwurst for our first meal.

Dessert was massive and very tasty!

I don't expect I'll be commenting much, if at all, while we're away but I'll be posting more pictures on Flickr and I'll catch up with you all when we get back.