Monday, December 22, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
- ½ C raisins… soaked in
- ½ C scotch (whiskey), preferably overnight
- 400 g dark chocolate
- ¼ C water
- 225 g unsalted butter in chunks
- 6 eggs, separated
- 1 1/3 C sugar
- 9 Tb flour
- 1 1/3 C ground almonds
- Pinch salt
- 150 g dark chocolate
- 2/3 C cream
- Soak raisins in scotch overnight
- pre-heat oven to 160ºC and butter a 12”/30cm diameter cake tin – I prefer to use a spring-form tin as its much easier to get out.
- Melt the chocolate slowly in a double boiler with the water. Stir in butter bit by bit until smooth and glossy
- Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until thick and creamy. Stir in chocolate/butter mix
- Add the flour and almonds, then the raisin/whiskey and mix gently
- Beat the egg whites with the pinch of salt until stiff but not dry. Carefully fold one third of this into the mix, then the second third, finally the last of it. Try not to deflate the egg as it goes in was this is what gives the cake its lift.
- Pour into your prepared cake tin, smooth the top and bake for 50 minutes – test it – then continue baking until done. This has been known to take over an hour but will depend on your oven.
- Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before turning out.
- Melt chocolate in a double-boiler. Once melted and smooth remove from heat to let it cool a wee bit so that it doesn’t melt the cream when you add it – obviously it has to be still liquid though.
- Whip the cream until quite firmly whipped.
- Fold the chocolate into the cream and spread on the cake. Once the chocolate cools the ganache will be quite firm.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
|Public Image (PiL)||This is not a love song: special edition|
|The Damned||The Black Album|
|The Damned||Music for Pleasure|
|The Damned||Machine Gun Etiquette|
|Buzzcocks||A different kind of tension|
|Lou Reed||Growing Up In Public|
|The Velvet Underground||White Light / White Heat|
|The Fall||77 - Early Years - 79|
|The Fall||The Fall Live|
|Joy Division||Love Will Tear Us Apart|
|Jefferson Airplane||The Worst of Jefferson Airplance|
|Blue Sunshine||The Glove|
|The Cure||Boys don't cry|
|Young Marble Giants||Colossal Youth|
|Buzzcocks||Singles Going Steady|
|King Swamp||King Swamp|
|Shriekback||Big Night Music|
|The Pogues||Red Roses for Me|
|The Pogues||Rum, Sodomy and the Lash|
|Warren Zevon||A Quiet Normal Life|
|redskins||Keep on Keepin' On|
|Shriekback||Oil and gold|
|John Cooper Clarke||Me and My Big Mouth|
|David Bowie||Ziggy Stardust the motion picture|
|Bronski Beat||Smalltown Boy|
|Talking Heads||True Stories|
|Talking Heads||Little Creatures|
|Yello||1980 - 1985 The New Mix in One Go|
|Talking Heads||Stop Making Sense|
|Split Enz||Time and Tide|
|No Idea||Class War|
|The Newz||Heard the Newz|
|Goats Milk Soap|
Monday, October 06, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
- the extractors over the stove. Instead of getting a normal extractor we went for a system called smoothair which we were promised was very quiet as the motor is in the ceiling. Its amazingly quiet and still very sucky and by getting 2 units (a 2 and a 3) we have the entire 1200 mm wide area covered.
- the Bosch dishwasher and washing machine are almost equally quiet. Its SO worth spending a bit extra to get the best quality.
- the space. The living / dining area and master bedrooms are huge and I just love having all that space.
- the warmth. Double-glazing plus full under, over and side insulation really pays off. The wood burner however is barely enough as the wet-back sucks off a significant amount of the heat produced. We're going to need that heat transfer kit by next winter. JT is coming this morning (first thing apparently although its almost 9 now) to hook up the solar.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Jenni came in and gave us a hand moving things in. One of the things still to be done is a re-oiling of the entire wood floors so that's the kitchen, living/dining room, theatre lounge and hallways so we have left the big and heavy furniture that goes in these rooms so that we don't have to move it twice.
By the end of the day I was fairly exhausted but we headed back to madras st to pick up enough food etc to feed ourselves for a couple of days. Saturday was a beuatiful day and we had loads of helpers. First up Nick met Rob in town with the float and they brought out the half-full freezer, our old fridge and a few other big things. Meanwhile I moved lots of boxes and smaller items. Then Suzie and jenni arrived and things got majorly underway. A bit later Tycho and Liz turned up on the bike and that was enough strong people to drag the freezer into the garage where it now lives. That really was the bulk of it. Pretty much everyone brought wine and by mid-afternoon we were mostly pooped out sitting around drinking wine.
Went to bed tired and happy... got up after 1/2 hour and took strong painkillers. Sunday was the day for my family and was dull and rainy. We pretty much just kept emptying boxes all day and moving stuff around. Nick bought some wood from Crusaders but it was terribly wet.
Monday Nick went to work and I stayed behind. It had been pissing down all night and rained constantly. I felt very farmerly going out to feed the horses hay in my boots and oilskin and beany. In the morning Becky came out with Isla and Mathilda and parked way down by the pumpshed as there was a huge puddle at the second gate. After she left I went into town and cleaned the Madras St place. Sarah had kindly offered to help, she is now a professional cleaner, but she'd already helped so much and there wasn't THAT much to do. Except that I didn't finish until about 3, oh well. Never mind.
Tuesday Rang Telecom to come and put in phone lines, rang city Firewood to deliver firewood. happily both coming Thursday afternoon which makes my scheduling easier. Had my first alone at home day and it was blissful, although still very wet. Wednesday Back into town for shopping (bathmats etc), work to pick up laptop and loaner wireless card from Dad (yay!!) and drop off keys to madras St. Crossing fingers that that all goes OK. Also finally went to shop to use voucher - bought a glass cake cover that I'd been looking for for about 2 years - none of the are wide enough to take a good sized and tallish cake - how silly. Danni and Al came for dinner and danni brought a magnificent pudding.
Thursday The first day that I've really had time to sit around and think, oh now what should I do. Wonderful!! Also a lovely warm sunny day. Took Zoe and Lil's covers off and put them on the long grass for a good feed as they are a bit thin. Wood came, nice and dry - they are good there. Telecom many came and put in the cables but he can't hook us up as there needs to be a network box on the road. Could take TWO WEEKS!!!. At least i now have internet. And we can finally fill in the trench, which means a couple of hours on the excavator for some keen person. Luckily there are always blokes happy to play with the digger. Watched The Incredibles on the new projector, just projected on the wall but its amazingly good. Completely redefines watching at home. Way better than the projector that they had at Madras St. Wow... so that's been my week. There's been so much happen I have now doubt left out important things. Many thanks to everyone who came out to help us move. All going well we'll have a housewarming party in a couple of months but I'd like to have a driveway and doorstep first. Well time to go feed the horses again.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
We've also just about finished the lighting plan - I just have to sort out a fabric to cover the main light in the Dining bay - I have a back-up which is a sort of ruched dupion silk look fabric in a similar red to that in the wallpaper - although they are for different rooms I want to have splashes of red around. Its actually been very difficult to find the right reds. There's lots of bricky and winey colours but much less in this red lacquer / crimson kind of tones. I've picked out a pretty cool light for the entrance hallway - its glass and semi-opaque in bits - here's a not very good picture.
Right now they're finishing the gib - which has caused a bit of panic for us. Nick got out there last night to find that they had put piles of polystyrene outside which had blown around in the wind and panicked the new mares Lil and Anna through their electric fence and into the next paddock. So in the pitch black he had to sort them out into a new enclosure away from the polystyrene which had also blown right across our neighbours paddocks as well. Needless to say we're pretty unhappy (again). And the week hadn't gotten off to a good start for Fowlers as when we were out on Sunday they had left such a mess of food scraps, empty and partially empty drink bottles, food wrappers etc inside the house - it was really disgusting - I took about 20 photos as "documentation". Nick tells me that this had been tidied up but even so - we don't need to start attracting rodents into our house before we're even in it!
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
We had a real funny last week. Our original plan had been to have the wet-back(s) and the solar for water heating and that was for in the castle. Then when we went to a smaller house we still had these quite big wet-backs. Anyway Nick went to an uncle of his who's quite big in the whole heating thing and he suggested that we'd need something to draw extra heat from the cylinder like radiators or underfloor. So base on that we'd had underfloor pipes put into the two bathrooms when they poured the slab back in November / December.
Then about two months ago we had a sit down with the two plumbers - one for the normal stuff and the guys who are doing the solar. They felt that there wasn't going to be enough heat so we agreed not to hook up the pipes in the bathrooms. Then the plumber cut through those pipes when cutting out the bit for the showers and bath - Nick was pretty pissed... Anyway, late last week the solar guy rings Nick and says that he's put in a similar system somewhere else and it keeps boiling the cylinder and he's worried that ours will too - so now we have to hook up the under-floor.
Just goes to show - Nick's uncle was right - and the junk-science that the plumber (a) was spouting (we think that he's pretty useless and rude to boot) was absolute rubbish.
Anyway - it'll be nice to have the underfloor - small victories!!
From the bedroom end
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Saturday, May 10, 2008
- bricks are about 85% on - there's still some big chunks to do but they should get it finished next week
- solar is partly on
- some more plumbing has happened such as the cylinder is now in the roof, the standard bath is in... And I am so glad that I tested the one that's going in the ensuite because the main bath looks like the one in our rental place which is tiny - even smaller than the one we had at Aranui.
- we had a walk-through with the electrician last Wednesday and he seems like a good guy so hopefully there will be one area that we don't have to worry about. saved us a bit of cash too - we were going to have these fancy copper sticky-out lights around the house on the BBQ side but he pointed out that the french doors would swing into them so we're going for much cheaper adjustable halogen down-lights in the surfeit.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Had some bad news over the last couple of days. My brother-in-law's father was killed in a light aircraft crash in Auckland. Its been in the news and everything but we hardly ever watch TV news and aren't getting papers here so I only knew because Kate rang me this morning. Its too soon to know what happened there. Also a friend of a friend in the US has died after a riding accident which make me remind everyone - please wear a helmet when you ride - they're light, keep the sun out of your eyes and your hair out of your face and may save your life.
Friday was a jammie day for me - I crashed on the couch all day watching TV and DVDs on the big screen. Saturday was lovely - hung out at Danni's watching everyone having their riding lessons with Ian who comes down from the North island. He's a really good teacher - Nick's booked three lessons and is taking Monday off for the last one. Today (Sunday) I finally got into the gym to work-out some of the knots all the lifting and hauling gave me (although Saturday began with a massage for me - so that helped a lot too). It felt really good and I am going to try to get one weekend session in every week.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Monday, April 07, 2008
The move is going fairly well - I'd guess that we're about half-way there which is OK as we have until 24th and I'm taking most of that week off. I've got movers coming to do the valuable furniture and next weekend Nick will try to move the heavy workshop stuff. One wee problem is that the builders still have their stuff in the shed. This is actually a major problem as
- we can't put things where we want to because we have to leave them access, and
- they have access to the shed, which contains everything - well it will, so security is an issue.
We've finally bought a horse float. It was quite a big expense, but its only 4 years old and not heavily used. Turned out to be a couple that Nick had met on his overnight trek last month, and they had bought a horse of Danni (Turtle) so nice to have another connection. Its powder blue, hmmm. Anyway its been useful moving big things like the loom which hadn't fit in Richard's box truck which we've been borrowing for the moving.I managed to get Tybalt booked into a cattery for the duration. Its on the way out to West Melton so that's handy, and it looks like we're sorted for accommodation too. We've just looked at a house in Edgeware which is available until mid-August so sounds pretty perfect. It is a bit more than we had hoped to be paying but fully furnished, central etc is probably worth it to be comfortable, off-street parking etc. Oh and it has home theatre and Sky --- yum. We can move in on the Tuesday and then take the Wednesday to do a final clean of the house and property before the settlement day of the Thursday so it all fits nicely.
Monday, March 31, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
Saturday, March 15, 2008
They've not made a lot of progress on the house over the last couple of weeks but our manager Nick is leaving fro Australia and we've been moved onto a new guy, Dustin, who we met on Thursday evening. He seems pretty on the ball and is going to get in to some of the things that Nick wasn't confident were being handled, like the water heating situation with the solar and wet-back so we hope to see some real progress in the next couple of weeks and of course having just sold we'll be applying pressure to get things done asap.
Nick's off on a weekend trek with his Mum, hopefully next year I can go too so I'm just bumming around the house. Going out with Jenni tonight to see The Other Boleyn Girl. Might start a new gown for the (very late) Baronial Anniversary which isn't until next month (it should be the 23rd, Nick's birthday). If I'm going to do that I'd better go and get some linen to line it with.
Here's some pictures of the building:
From the end of the garage
The end of the building - our room and ensuite
From our bedroom end looking back up towards the dining / living rooms
The dining / kitchen end
Monday, March 10, 2008
We made changes to it ages ago but never got an up to date PDF - well I didn't anyway, maybe Nick has one. Anyway its going up pretty fast now and we're due to make our second payment - maybe tonight when i get home. It's pretty cool - you can wander around the rooms and get a feel for how big they are BUT you can walk through the walls still, which is to say that the framing is all up - next thing they put on the walls and roof. Then they can begin the interiors, and we can begin on the landscaping (not part of the build price unfortunately).
There's been progress on the shed debacle too. They came and poured a new floor in it and Nick seems to think that its OK. There are still a number of other issues for them to fix before we'll be paying them, but that was the toughest problem to fix. So hopefully we'll have a usable shed by the end of the month.
We're still waiting for fences - its hard when you're getting a friend to help. The two loaner mares went back last weekend as they hadn't gotten pregnant. A bit of a bummer. But there's still Lightning and Nick's talking about serving Zoe so we'd get another foal by her.
Jack's great - he just loves apples and will nuzzle you all over for them. Likes being brushed too apparently, but not so keen on being caught, or lead. But he learns quickly and all is going good in that respect.
I can't wait to be finally in the house and have everything sorted. Its been a long haul. We're under offer again and will find out next Monday whether it will go unconditional - crossing fingers.
Friday, February 29, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Well Webstock's over and done for another year and it was fab but exhausting. I'm still digesting all of the great stuff, reading over my written notes and blogs on the libraries' bibliofile blog. There're heaps of blogs etc out there about webstock so i'll let you investigate them yourself - or check out the Webstock site itself. Webstock blogging at Technorati.
I bought some neat stuff on the Thursday evening when they had Craft 2.0 during the cocktails. I bought badges from supervery and lusted after artwork by Sam Broad (check out this guy's moustache) and toys and art by Minu.More loot:
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Yesterday (being Tuesday and Nick and I back at work) when Nick rang to tell me when he'd pick me up he said that he wanted to pop out to West Melton to check that Jack hadn't escaped (which he has done a couple of times) because if he had he'd be without water and it has been quite hot and dry. So we trot out there and yes he had managed to duck under the second electric fence tape and galloped back to have a suck at Mum when we opened the fence up. Nick checked the fence tape and there was practically no charge at all so we began looking for a short.
We'd covered most of the fence line and found nothing - Nick said that it wouldn't be the coos' fence because he'd turned theirs off but I wandered over there as I often do just to say hello and check on them. As I got close I noticed that Ardbeg's head was quite low and he wasn't moving much whereas he's often the most active. As I got closer I saw a glint of something by his ear - but maybe it was water. Suddenly I saw that he had wire wrapped all around his back leg and over a horn. Poor thing looked quite dejected.
I called out to Nick and we quickly prepared the yards - ran a line of tape between the paddock gate and the corner of the yards and Nick began enticing them in with meadow hay. This took quite some time as they're not used to following us. Once in the central paddock we started to push them towards the yards when Riley (sneaky wee thing) slipped under the tape and ran off to the mares - but that was OK as he wasn't the one we really wanted. Finally we got Laphroigh and Ardbeg into the yards. Getting them into the vetting race took a bit longer. Laphroigh went first and this allowed us to drench him. Then we got Ardbeg in. He really panics and the wire can't of been helping. At a couple of times he tried to leap over the gate which was pretty scary and impressive. Finally Nick was able to cut all the bits of wire away and drench him and we could release him back into the paddock.
Anyway, no one got hurt - the wire hadn't cut into him at all and we then found where it had come from and cleared it all up. Also they both have very impressive horns :-)
Actually we had used the yards last weekend for washing Zoe and getting Jack more used to us - he lets us touch him now but he also needs drenching and its about time he got halter-broke I think - it will make him much easier to handle.
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
- Easily the top of the list is Nick's present: a training flight with a local flight school. You get to do as much of the actual flying as you want - naturally i want to do it all. More on this later folks.
- Kate and Abagail gave me a castle shaped cake mold. Very cool - I made Nigella Lawson's orange and chocolate cake in it for Abs' birthday picnic on the 31st Dec and it came out great.
- Lu gave me/us a translation of a 15th century Portuguese King's equestrian manual which i have had on my Amazon wishlist for some time. I haven't had time to read it yet as I have lots of books out of the library for the break.
- Dad and Pamela gave me a battery powered milk whisk for making the frothy milk for cappuccinos - I've already used it once and it works great. I'll even be able to take it to Canterbury Faire.
- And there were other goodies - a bit of chocolate of course, yum yum
- Oh and someone gave me a cold - the same one that Nick's only just shaking after about 8 weeks. Which means I'll probably still have it at Canterbury Faire.