Friday, August 31, 2012

More food

My breakfast today...cheese on toast, olives and Earl Grey tea

And my lunch...Tortilla Soup and corn on the cob dressed with butter, salt and a squeeze of lime juice

Recipe from Thomasina Miers' book 'Mexican Food Made Simple'
The soup is topped with soured cream, coriander, fried corn tortilla strips, and I used buffalo mozzarella instead of the feta suggested in Tommi's recipe. The texture and milky aftertaste were just perfect.

I'm having pork chops with mushrooms and sweetheart cabbage for dinner.  Can you tell Jake's away?  Photos tomorrow perhaps...


These were made from Dan Lepard's Muscovado Peanut Cookie recipe.  I renamed them "Nutty Sparks" and adapted the recipe to make it gluten free for a friend.  Oh, and Jake helped me make them.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Some random lists

I love a good list and it's been awhile, so here are five...

Things Jake brought over from his Daddy’s yesterday: his potty, his inflatable Spiderman, a postcard of the Poussin painting Extreme Unction.  What can I say, he likes it.

Things I picked up off the floor after Jake went to his Daddy’s yesterday: bits of blue yarn, an empty chocolate milk carton, a wooden dinosaur (in two bits), wooden dinosaur spine pieces, an assortment of marker pens (miraculously all with correct caps on), dried pasta (as in cooked pasta from a meal that had dried), half a Spiderman sticker, various stuffed animals, a twig, plastic train tracks, a tunnel, lego, megablocks, a Justin Sings cd (shudder), a wet flannel, dried up used wipes, a pair of headphones, a pencil sharpener, several toy cars, purple sand, a cushion, a fleece blanket, a small pair of sunglasses, a batman mask, a few books, a train door, a fire engine door, a bottle of bubble mixture.  I won’t mention the stuff that is still on the floor.  

Things I’ve enjoyed this week: chilli squid, aloe vera juice, pomegranate and rooibos shower gel, chocolate shampoo, an aromatherapy balm for hives, ice, aloe vera gel straight from the fridge, the novel The Reader, going to the newly refurbished William Morris gallery with Jake, seeing Grayson Perry’s Walthamstow Tapestry, a strawberry fruit roll, a sticky toffee muffin, the film At The Height of Summer, cool night air, a light show on Tower Bridge, a sleepover, a white chocolate Magnum, hugs and time with friends, kisses from Jake, cuddles with Yoshi, Toffee Ice cream, a quartet of dragonflies flitting about in the playground, sunshine, rain, being able to sleep, learning to play Sway on the ukulele, the quiet around Walthamstow, the emptiness of the playgrounds, giggling with Jake about Abney’s sneezing on The Adventures of Abney and Teal, comfortable silences, my parents’ faces on Skype, seeing Jake “get” potty training after 1 day in pants, knowing that he will be absolutely fine when he starts school, pink lady apples straight from the fridge, the sauce I made for my pork chops along with said pork chops.  Yum.

 Things Jake has said this week:  "I look tired" ~ "I'll be proud if I have some more (apple)" ~ "I love your bum which means I love you" ~ "I'm just moving this out of the way so I don't tread on it" (so proud of his usage of tread) ~ "I want to be close to you because I love you" ~ "I want you to have a big smile on your face" ~ "Silly is good, not bad" ~ "I want cuddles on the sofa now, I'll go sit on the sofa and get ready"

 Things found on Jake this week: green marker lines on his feet and toenails, a face drawn on his belly (by Daddy) and representing Daddy who had turned into a potato from eating so many potatoes and who got eaten by Jake and turned into a face inside Jake's belly - of course; his Spiderman outfit.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

We are hives...

Resistance is futile.

Nevertheless...these remedies are being deployed

I've been getting hives ever since I hit puberty.  They've been appearing every couple of years, mostly in the summer but twice in the winter.  Each time they show up, they are more severe, last longer and are more resistant to antihistamines.  Antihistamines do absolutely nothing for me now but make me drowsy.

The last time they showed up was about 8 years ago and they lasted for about 3 months.  I've visited countless doctors and specialists who all concur that it is hives and some sort of allergic reaction but determining the cause is pretty nigh impossible.  Some health practitioners say that stress can exacerbate hives but not cause them.  Others think stress can cause anything.  I've had hives at times of extreme stress in my life, but there have been times when I've had extreme stress and no hives.  It isn't life-threatening, though I did have it once when I also had influenza and a high temperature and it was the only time in my life I ever fainted. I've had allergy testing and it was "inconclusive."  I've also tried acupuncture, homeopathy and visited a herbalist.  Although the homeopathy worked for hayfever, it didn't for hives.  The other methods did not provide any relief. Each time, the hives eventually go away on their own and, it seems, nothing can stop them from running their course. I've read a lot about hives and their possible treatments and this article is the most accurate in my experience.

The above photo of my own swelling beauties (ooo-er!) was taken today, day 6 of my current cycle of hives, and only one patch of the many making their way across my skin.  Yeah, it does itch, but not all the time.  They are worst in the morning and feel better as the day goes on but start to "act up" again in early evening and overnight.  The most annoying places to get them are my scalp, ears, eyelids, hands and feet.  But they move around so that helps.  I accept that I just have to live with them and that nothing can, as far as I know, stop it in its tracks.  But, I've discovered things that bring relief - aloe vera gel and a balm available from Aroma Healing

Other things that bring relief: ice packs, cool drinks, loose, cotton clothing, an appropriate level of scratching, any distractions that stop me dwelling on them, not feeling sorry for myself, not embarking on a programme to cut possible triggers from my life, and kisses from Jake.  The best things in life really are free. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I'm back from holiday and my circles have been updated.

While we were away, Jake "swam" for the first time, aided only by his "armpits"...

Michael Phelps, eat your heart out!