Springtime in Paris

Springtime in Paris

Whenever I think of Paris, I always remember when Linda Radlett, heroine of The Pursuit of Love, passed through on her way to Perpignan. She thought then that she’d return, and be very happy there. And then she did.

However, I feel hubris might have got the better of me, what with trying to finish this, and my novel, and starting a new job all in the same month. I feel like I’ve barely started this sampler, although I am within spitting distance of the end of this draft. And I’m still very much enjoying working in the Book-business.

As it is, with April fast approaching, Paris is going to be set aside for another design (and so many birthday cards!), to be finished in quiet moments, like my type-writer.

Banana Flapjack

I am hugely fond of flapjack. I like to think of it as finger-food porridge, the sort you can eat cold. And since porridge is so good for you, therefore so is flapjack.

I’ve been taking good-sized chunks with work for lunch – I can’t be doing with making sandwiches every morning. With flapjack, I make a big batch at the beginning of the week and then grab a bit before I go. I try to make it a bit healthier by using treacle and dark brown sugar, but even so, I’m still aware that it could be better. (I’d say ‘guiltily aware’ except I try not to associate foods with guilt or virtue. I just enjoy my food and eat as best I can.)

So this week, I dug out a recipe I found a few years ago for a no-added-sugar flapjack recipe. That, and I had a bunch of bananas sitting in the fruit bowl, for some reason not being eaten. Just ripening.

Banana Flapjack

It’s a nice recipe, easily adapted.

The basic recipe is 2-3 ripe bananas, smooshed, 80ml olive oil, 2 cups of oats, and a splash of vanilla extract. Mix it all up and let it sit for a few minutes, then bake for about 20 mins at 175C.

I chucked in some glace cherries, candied peel, and desiccated coconut.

New Hope for Summer

This weekend marks the start of British Summer Time. For the non-Brits reading this, yes, we need to be told when it is or we might miss it…Lasts from about now until the end of October. If we’re lucky we’ll some sunshine and it’ll feel like summer too. If we’re less lucky, it’ll rain.

But hopefully this summer is starting as it means to go on, and the last couple of days, although foggy and cold in the morning, have been quite glorious. Although – is it just me, or is having bluebells out in March a bit weird?

As for my stitching and writing, I’m hoping both will pick up a bit. I’m solar-powered, so with the longer days approaching, my energy levels should likewise rise.

My Paris sampler has got this far:

Cycling in Paris

Hopefully soon I’ll be able to get my nice pink bike out again for cycle-rides in the forest. And picnics, since I have a lovely wicker-basket to go on the front of it.

 

Project Update: J’adore Paris

My stitching is going a little slowly this month. It’s the whole job-thing. More tiring than I remember. I’m looking forward to the long weekend coming up…

I’m enjoying the Parisian scene, though. It’s quite easy and simple to stitch, once you get use to counting single stitches across the linen. Takes a bit of concentrating, but it’ll look good when it’s done. With any luck.

Paris Cafe

Also, I so need to go back to following my organiser plans…

Returning to Work

I started a new job yesterday. At a book-sellers. Well, not the sort you’re thinking of. A middleman-company for libraries.

But it’s weird, after about ten weeks of not setting an alarm and having funny sleeping patterns, to be seeing two 7 o’clocks in a day. On the other hand, at least it is now light when I wake up so early, and I get to return home while the evening is still young. It’ll take a little getting used to, new routines and all. And organising my other actitivities, like my writing and my stitching, around the disruption. So, my scheduling might be a bit peculiar for the next week or so while I get my head around it.

In the meantime, because the internet likes kitty-pictures, a mini-project I completed last week for Mothering Sunday (and then never sent out…or turned into a card), I took from a selection of mummy-and-baby animal-patterns for new babies. I fell into the Typical Girl response of Aww – cute! at some of them, particularly the cats. And the elephants, and the ducks. The rest weren’t quite as cute.

Kittens

Reading, Writing, Reviewing

I was supposed to write this last week – I think my organiser is glaring at me for being a week behind. The thing is, is I’m not really much of a reviewer. I like or I dislike things, either way, I tend not to have very much to say about it. Unless I really like or dislike it.

And on that basis, I’ve been thinking about the reviews I write, why I write them, and whether I’m going to continue sharing the books I read. I haven’t come to a definitive conclusion just yet – it may simply be that I’ll stop only writing about one at a time.

Anyway, the book most recently read is A Plague on Both Your Houses by Susanna Gregory. I’ve had it in my To Be Read pile for about two years.

It’s a medieval murder-mystery set in the fledgling University of Cambridge, in 1348 around about the time of the Black Death, and Fellows of one of the colleges keep dying, and not just because of the plague. The investigator is Matthew Bartholomew, an unorthodox physician, teacher of medicine at the college, Michaelhouse.

And, unfortunately, I can take or leave A Plague. It didn’t thrill me to the core, but equally, it didn’t bore me to the point of abandonment. I’m not going to go out of my  way to read the rest of the Matthew Bartholomew Chronicles, but I won’t necessarily ignore them if I come across them.

Of course, the good thing about reading and reviewing books is that, in reviewing them, I have to think about the whole thing, the writing and the story, when assessing the enjoyment level. And this feeds into my own writing and the structure of my story.

Project of the Month: TBC

One problem with having a long, ever-growing, list of projects is deciding which to do next. I normally narrow it down to the ones for which I already have the most supplies, or for birthdays and suitable gifts (I probably ought to start making such things more in advance, but never mind…), but this month, this still leaves me with a short-list, and I still haven’t quite made up my mind.

March Project

I’m leaning towards the Paris sampler, but I’m not wholly decided. It’s a matter of time, because I have a self-imposed deadline of Easter/end of March for completing my current draft of my novel, and I begin a new job next week which will fill most of my days. And then April is a busy month for birthdays. I might try to get a head-start on the cards.