Sunday, 31 October 2010

Happy Halloween

I hope everyone has a wonderful time trick or treating tonight and that the weather in the UK is dry.

As for me, I'm enjoying sunning myself on holiday and Marion will trick or treat on her Granny & Grandad's room later on this evening.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Feeling Brighter

Yes I'm not so fed up today. The weekend I really felt miserable and that just made me feel tired, plus the fact that my darling little daughter decided that being as destructive as possible was the way to go. I fell up the stairs at one point because of all the junk she'd put there and then wondered why I yelled at her when asking nicely several times got me nowhere.

I then plonked myself in the chair, put the television on and watched all the wonderful films that were on. Free Willy, Calamity Jane (my all time favourite film), Pearl Harbour, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Free Willy 3 - seems ITV 3 forgot that there was a number 2 in between. So it was a wonderful selection over both days and I certainly didn't budge apart from to cook meals.

Yesterday I went in to do the Mock Assessment for the User Fundamentals, which only took me about 15 minutes to do. The mock got checked through to make sure I'd done it all ok and it was such a long winded process. The paper said to make ...2 news folders, which I did and then screen print showing those two folders and then print it. I did that. Then it said to copy some files into these new files and save, which I did. When it came to checking it, she told me that she wanted a screen print of the files in the new folders - but it never said that because at the time of the screen print there was nothing in those folders.

I decided when it came to doing the Assessment I would just do it the way she wanted it doing, even if it did cost me marks. I was also a bit peeved because they'd managed to lose my spreadsheets assessment from last week and I was half expecting to go in today and have to do it over again. Thankfully that wasn't the case, they found it and marked both papers yesterday.

That means that the 3 modules I did, the last one being a required element, I passed, so I will have a City & Guilds Certificate winging its way to me soon :)

Today I went onto Level 1 Wordprocessing, database and desktop publishing. I decided not to do more on spreadsheets, it's not really something I can see myself doing in the future and desktop publishing sounds more up my street. I found out after that I could have chosen web design or a couple of others, but they weren't given to me as an option to start with.

As you can see in the photo that my Christmas Cactus are starting to bud and bloom. This one is usually the last one to come out in November time, but I found it blooming away this morning when I went to open the curtains in the dining room.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Depressing Week

Well so far it has been a very stressful and depressing week. On Monday I went to my WP/IT course and did the spreadsheet test and then worked my way through the next module called User Fundamentals, which is basically all about health and safety using a pc and copying/pasting and moving files and folders and yes there is a mock test and then a real test at the end of that too. It's the mock test for me tomorrow.

When I got back in on Monday just after lunchtime I decided to phone the CSA to find out why they had so far ignored my letters and exactly what their intentions are to get the child maintenance payments. Hmm I got nowhere basically and as far as I'm concerned they are more than happy for him to get away with it scot free. When I asked why they hadn't even had the decency to reply to my letter from the beginning of September, all I got was "well yes I see that we should have replied, but we have nothing to go on". No that's about right because you're doing nothing to chase him, I'm doing all the chasing and I feel a bit like a cat who is chasing its tail.

So I had a good cry after I put the phone down. I'm just so frustrated by it all.

It has put me off stitching or anything really, I have no enthusiasm for anything anymore :( Plus I've managed to lose 2 pairs of scissors, they're nowhere in the house, I've ransacked it and I can only think that I threw them out by accident. I don't have any spare cash lying around to purchase a new pair and I just can't be doing with the big seamstress pair to snip my threads.

I think I'm stuck in a BAH HUMBUG rut.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Sunday Recipes

Fig & Frangipane Tart

375g pack ready rolled short crust pastry
100g (3 1/2oz) butter
100g (3 1/2oz) caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
100g (3 1/2oz) ground almonds
8 fresh figs, halved
200g (7oz) raspberries
3tbsp icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 220C/200C (for fan assisted) gas 7.
Unroll the pastry onto a floured work surface and roll a little thinner. Line a 33cm x 12cm (13in x 4 1/2 in) rectangular fluted loose bottom flan tin with the pastry, then place baking parchment on top. Fill this with baking beans and bake 'blind' for 10 minutes. Remove the beans and paper and bake in the oven for a further 5 minutes, then remove from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 200C/180C/gas 6.

In a bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten egg, then the ground almonds and combine until you have a soft paste. Spoon the paste into the pastry case and place the figs on top, then bake for 20-25 minutes until the paste is set and golden and the pastry crisp.

Place the raspberries in a sieve over a pan and push them through the sieve with a spoon, then stir in the sugar. Place the pan on the hob and heat for 2-3 minutes until the sauce is a jam consistency. Drizzle the sauce over the tart and serve.

Instead of figs, you can spread the pastry case with raspberry jam and then add the frangipane topping, back and drizzle with icing. You could use apricots or pears instead of figs.

Each Sunday I am going to put a recipe or two on my blog to share with you all. This one has been taken from The Mail on Saturday Weekend Magazine. I hope you will enjoy them and perhaps even make them and I would love to see your finishes on your blogs.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Gift From Sally

It was my birthday yesterday and Sally sent me this wonderful needlecase. Isn't it beautiful? I LOVE IT. All that work that went into it, the smaller they are the more work that goes into them.

Sally has some much nicer photos on her blog. I got in too late last night to get a decent photo and today is a really miserable, rainy day.

When I got back in this afternoon there was another card waiting for me from my Cousin. I will get him back next year.

The outside:

The inside: