Poets

Poets – this abbreviation is often used on Friday to mean “Piss off early, tomorrow is Saturday”. However on Friday I got introduced to Birmingham’s Young Poet Laureate Claire Guest.

She read a couple of her poems. I love the poem entitled Words and you can read it here along with some of her others.

Poetry is a bit like art I think sometimes you either get it or you don’t. I really like her and I hope one day she gets published!

Hope you enjoy reading them Dear Reader.

Blessings! 😀

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Book Review – “A Winter Flame” by Milly Johnson

As you know Dear Reader, my reading mojo has never really bounced back, but in the past 24 hours I have been fully absorbed by Milly Johnson”A Winter Flame”.

Okay so it’s Chick Lit. I borrowed this book in December when it was Winter, and I fancied something seasonal that wasn’t taxing. However I kept renewing it and didn’t have/couldn’t find the time to read it. At the weekend I made a decision – either I read it or return it.

So I read it.

The story focuses on Eve, who lost the love of her life Jonathan, a solider who was killed in Afganistan. Her Aunt Evelyn dies leaving in her will a theme park dedicated to Christmas. For various reasons Eve doesn’t like Christmas, so imagine her horror. Add to the mix a mysterious business partner Jacques Glace, a total stranger, who she must run the park with and a few other characters which you can believe in (you can even practice your Welsh!) you have a bit of a page turner.

Okay it’s a romantic Chick Lit novel and I mean when I say page turner. Yes I did read it in 24 hours as I couldn’t put it down. It’s not often that, that happens! There is a good plot and it’s well written. It’s the first I’ve read by this author and it won’t be the last!

Blessings! 😀

#Gluten-Free products review

You may have seen being advertised by Newburn the Gluten-Free arm of Warburtons, Gluten-Free wraps. Now I’ve never experienced any wraps before so was keen to try them out. I hunted high and low in all the larger stores of the major supermarkets and yet couldn’t see them. I think the hype of “vote to save” them on the Bakery’s Facebook page was assisting in their scarcity. However I was lucky enough to find one packet on my travels! I know we pay extra for gluten-free food but I do think the price of £3 for a packet of 3 wraps is a little on the pricey side. You can get a loaf for the same price! Also each wrap is high on the calorie side 216 cals per wrap. Depending on brand a slice of bread works out at approx 80 so for a sandwich minus filling it works out at about 160. But is it worth it?

Well they are large.

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So I filled it and wrapped it like so:

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The verdict? Well they are quite squishy and chewy. They remind me of a pizza base, and there is a recipe on the back telling you how to do this. They are also filling. I found then very tasty so will buy them again as a treat. They can be frozen, which is a bonus. So well done Warburtons – keep up the good work!

The other thing I’ve tried this week is “Biscuit breaks” by Nairns They are similar (I guess) to the Brevita ones.

I tried the oats and fruit. The look reminded me of the old style digestives biscuits that I had as a child. They tasted nice but a little hard. They are dunkable and I would recommend it to dunk them in into a hot mug of tea, coffee or hot chocolate. These biscuits are useful if you can’t have breakfast or as a snack. I did have them for a late breakfast and they did keep me going till lunch. I’m keen to try the other flavours and I will keep some in the cupboard as a back up. Again keep up the good work!

Blessings! 😀

The magical spell

Has been casted off! My owls are finished!

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All I needed was buttons for the eyes. This gave me an excuse to visit my new local yarn shop Stitch Solihull The origins of the shop come from two members of the knitting group that I attend that meets weekly on a Thursday in the upstairs of Starbucks, Touchwood in Solihull, from about 5pm onwards.

I decided since I know the girls that cake would be appreciated so yesterday I made some cake. I made a diary free cake in case one of ladies who lives locally popped in. The recipe is here – it was interesting to make it and although it sounds weird it actually tastes very nice. The other one I made was Red Velvet Cake – it ended up being more or a dark pink as I ran out of red food colouring and had to use the pink that I had. Also I had to learn how to make buttermilk, which is a lot easier than you think!

So off I went! The shop is light and airy with everything well laid out. There is ribbons, fabric, needles, threads, yarn (of course) and buttons – which is what I went for. There is something for every one and for every pocket. There are knitting meet ups and there will be workshops.

So Al, I hear you ask did you just buy buttons? Well dear reader….Yes I know I’m sort of on a yarn fast and yes I may just try and pass it off as thick thread like I did last time I broke the fast….. But

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Isn’t it beautiful? So scrummy!

It will become a shawl eventually. Just got to decide on the pattern. I may also have to cast on something else in the mean time.

I encourage you to visit the shop if you are in the area. I may even bump into you!

Blessings! 😀

To blog or not to blog? Or what have I learnt over Lent?

On Ash Wednesday I made the point of finding something each day to be thankful for and to blog about it.  Yes I learnt to be more grateful, but my attitude about the blog was challenged. Did I like the layout?  What would I change?  What is it’s purpose? I did have the some of the  same thoughts as Kate over on Woolwinding http://woolwinding.wordpress.com/2013/03/29/wither-woolwinding/

(apologies for some reason I can’t do links presently!).

Was my blog getting anymore readers?  Is this imporatnt you ask dear reader? Well on some days there is only one – my mum but then aren’t mums supposed to be nosey and your biggest cheer leader in life? In my opinion yes and mum I’m grateful that you read it – I love you lots! x

Should I be worried about the lack of readers?

I came across this article which I found very interesting http://eddiegear.com/blog/10-reasons-no-one-visits-your-blog/

in it he mentions this article here:

http://goinswriter.com/writing-voice/

So is my blog relevant?  What is my writing voice?  How would I describe me? More importantly how do others describe me?  How they would describe me is how they see me – a few of their words I guess would be generous, loving, quirky.  So is that me?  Well yes to a degree and the better side of me but does the blog reflect that?  I’m not sure.

Is it important though?  Well we only get one life and we need to spend it in the best way we can.  For me that is doing things that I love to do.  I found the app really useful during Lent as it allowed me to blog every day.  Now that Lent is over I may not blog every day but I will still share with you moments of my life.  I hope I can still remain a little bit of an enigma, after all I have many varied interests that I feel it’s hard to put me into a box.  Maybe that is my problem – there is no direction to the blog.

However by having no direction I can share with you my thoughts that will let you question how you see things. Somewhere on this journey we will connect and find a common ground.

I’ve made a few changes and I hope you like them  – the layout, the header and the about me.  There is still twitter.  There is a signup which I hope more will use.  I’ve updated the blog roll – I will make a point every so often to check the links to see if it is wrking and that they are up-to-date.  I’ve found that there is a trap with blogs – they get started but not up dated – I know that life gets in the way!

A blog is a diary it tells the world the story of your life.  This is mine.  Thank you for reading.

Blessings! 😀 x x Ali

 

So British Summertime has started!

Today being a Bank Holiday, OH and I have been blessed with a day off together. Although summertime has started the weather is cold and grey. However we didn’t let that fact spoil it. We showed the best of our British spirit, wrapped ourselves up and headed outside.

Living in Birmingham we are blessed with an abundance of places to visit including the ones owned by the council we visited our local one.

You would think looking round there would be a few signs of summer but all I could see was signs of spring. It’s a promise and with positive thoughts we can wish for a great summer!

Even if its not we need to make the most of it. I encourage you to be a tourist where you live. Visit local parks and attractions – you never know what you might find!
Blessings! 😀

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