Sunday, 23 November 2014

My Sunday Photo

Kasabian at the LG Arena Birmingham 22nd November 2014

I may be aching all over this morning but it was worth it....boy what a night!


Friday, 21 November 2014

Word of the Week - Blur

Is it really Friday already?

This week has passed in a blur. Last Friday I was okay, but then I woke in the night with a migraine. I managed to go downstairs and take one of my migraine pills (completely forgetting I had an emergency supply hidden in my bedside drawer) Around 4am I was feeling a hundred times worse so OH had  to go and fetch my forehead ice pad and painkillers. I didn't get any better.

Saturday was a blur, as was Sunday. The pain relief was doing nothing. I was doing nothing.

Monday I started to feel a little better, as in I just had a headache from hell.

Tuesday, the headache was still present but at least I could move and watch television again.

Wednesday came the migraine hangover. I was sick and dizzy but my head was clearing.

Thursday I could drive again...yeah. I also managed to get on with a cake I've been commissioned to do this week, thankfully not a too complicated design.

I went to a Blogger Event yesterday evening which was nice but I did kind of feel like I wasn't really there. It's really difficult to explain, everything sounds and looks different and it's hard to focus.

Today my head is clear and I feel almost normal again. I'm just kind of at a loss as to where this week went. I could easily have dreamt it all and we could be back to last Friday.

I really can't tell you how I've managed to get the kids to school each day, cook and clean all week, I guess it's a kind of overdrive where our bodies continue to do our chores without the brain being present?

My next step is to get myself excited about going to a gig tomorrow night. I've waited for months having buying my tickets during the five minute sell out period. Now, the thought of all that noise is scaring the life out of me. I think I may be getting old *sigh* which is probably going to be next weeks word of the week...I can feel it coming!

The Reading Residence

Thursday, 20 November 2014

The Owl and The Pussycat

The Owl and the Pussy cat went to sea in a beautiful pea green boat.....

As a child I loved this poem by Edward Lear. It was so romantic and also a little crazy, which was just fine with me. I was really happy to re-discover the poem with my children. Of course the girls were straight in there with the questions, "what's a runcible spoon?" and "What's a Bong Tree? Is there really an island where they grow?"
Boo decided that a runcible spoon is probably what we would call a spork, a kind of spoon with fork prongs. Star decided that a bong tree would be a tree which 'bonged' when you bumped into it, or if a bong fruit fell off.
That is the magic of Edward Lear, he used words that didn't necessarily have to make sense, children find them so much fun.
I was sent a brand new copy of the Owl and the Pussy Cat with illustrations by Charlotte Yoake and a forward by Julia Donaldson.

 I loved the imagery, you could relate to it even though the poem is 143 years old.

 The pictures are bright and fun, Very attractive to young and old alike and bound to create more questions from the little ones as they enjoy the poem.

Did you ever wonder what happened to the Owl and the Pussy Cat after they were married and danced by the light of the moon, the moon, the moon?

Julia Donaldson did and now she has written a perfect follow on poem, in much the same style as Edward Lear. This book is also illustrated by Charlotte Yoake.

The book can also be purchased with a CD which contains the story read aloud by Julia Donaldson. She also sings the poem like a folk song on the CD.

 I won't give the story away but the ring gets stolen and the owl and the pussycat set out on a mission to retrieve it.

 Julia Donaldson also introduces some more of Edward Lears characters from other poems such as the Pobble who has no toes and his Aunt Jobiska.

My children really loved the books and have since been practising their own poetry.

You can purchase both The Owl and The Pussycat and the Further Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat from Amazon. They would make perfect Christmas presents for any child.

Here is a little introduction to the book by Julia Donaldson herself.

I was sent copies of both books for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Kids in the Kitchen - Pitta Bread

Welcome to this weeks Kids in the Kitchen and my apologies for posting late. I've been suffering from a migraine for the last five days. I'm feeling better today but I have the most awful tinnitus.
This week we made Pitta Bread. It was unplanned really, I'd made pulled pork for dinner and needed some bread to go with it, so I grabbed the kids and asked them to help.

Last week we were joined by Little E from All About a Mummy blog. What a beautiful little helper you have. I'll look forward to seeing who joins us this week.

Pitta Bread

As I said, we decided to make Pitta Bread to go with our Pulled Pork which is a new favourite of mine. For many years I didn't Pork because for some reason my mum had told me it made me sick. Maybe I grew out of it, but it certainly doesn't make me ill now. I'm still not a huge fan of pork, but I love slow cooked pulled pork marinaded with spices. I like to serve it with a lovely salad of fresh leaves and tomatoes with a tasty vinaigrette. Salads tend to get neglected during the winter months but they need not be. In fact, I'm on a mission to eat more and am planning on a salad with bread-crumbed Camembert later. You can find lots of healthy salad recipes which can be used all year around. I do love the handy bags of salad leaves you can pick up at the supermarket.


  • 200g Strong white flour
  • 7g sachet of fast acting yeast
  • 1tsp salt
  • 160ml warm water
  • 2 tsp olive oil


mix together the flour yeast and salt in a large bowl.
Add the olive oil
Mix in about half the water and then keep adding a little at the time until it all comes together in a dough.
Turn out and knead the dough. 
This is one job kids love to do

Heat oven to 250C gas mark 9
Place a baking tray in the oven to warm up
Leave the dough to prove for about half an hour to an hour
break into six pieces
stretch or roll each piece into pitta bread shapes

Place pitta breads on warmed tray and place in the oven for 5-10 minutes until puffed up and golden.
We did ours in two batches of three pitta breads.

So now it's over to you, get in the kitchen with your kids and come and share what you've cooked,
I'd also be mighty grateful if you included my badge in your post so others can see it and come along and join in. (although adding the badge is not compulsory to joining in)

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Friday, 14 November 2014

My Christmas Cake - recipe

I like to make my Christmas at least six weeks before Christmas. often earlier. This year I made it last week and it's already had it's first 'feed'. It's now wrapped up in greaseproof paper in a cake tin at the back of a cupboard. Each week I will unwrap it lovingly and pour over a tablespoon of brandy to keep it moist. This is definitely not a cake for the kids, but that's okay because they will have plenty of their own cake to enjoy.

I did get Boo to help me mix up the cake this year, she wanted to cook so I gave her some jobs. She was not impressed though and did ask if it would be okay if she didn't eat any.

rich fruit christmas cake

When making your Christmas Cake you need to prepare your tin. I used an 8" round tin with a loose bottom. It has to be lightly greased and lined with greaseproof paper. Then you have to cover the outside of the tin with folded greaseproof paper and tie it on.


  • 1lb mixed fruit and candy, you can buy bags from the supermarket expecially for cakes.
  • 5tbs of brandy
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 225g dark muscovado sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • grated zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
  • 1 tbs of treacle


Place the dried fruit in a bowl and cover with the brandy. Leave overnight to soak.

  • preheat the oven to 140C gas mark1
  • cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
  • beat the eggs and add them a little at a time, beating thouroughly after each addition
  • sieve flour, salt and spices into a mixing bowl
  • fold the flour and spice mix into the butter, sugar and eggs mix
  • add the soaked fruit and excess brandy
  • add the ctrus zest and treacle
  • mix to combine all ingredients
  • pour into prepared pan
  • bake for 4 hours

Here is my finished cake. In the week before Christmas I will decorate it with marzipan and icing. I've not decided yet on the decoration, but here is last years cake.