Sunday, October 30, 2011

Crazy Stupid Pumpkin Love

Pumpkinny wumpkinny 

Oops. It's been a while since I've written anything here. I guess I haven't been doing anything that noteworthy. Although to be honest if I have to really fully analyse the situation, I could probably chalk up at least a whole two weeks being lost to scouring the internet for photos of Ryan Gosling. If you are that way inclined, may I recommend this website.

I've been to see him in Drive (the soundtrack literally won't leave my ears) and Crazy Stupid Love this month and might be a LITTLE BIT obsessed. Honestly, I have no idea where the time goes. I could literally stare at him for hours. Excellent example of the perfect man. Well done to everybody involved. If I ever met him in the street I think the only appropriate reaction would be to give him a standing ovation. The Ides of March is the next Gosling cinematic offering and I'm already rubbing my legs in anticipation.  And don't even try and pretend you aren't too.

Next of (pump)kin

So ANYWAY. Enough of my lusting after Hollywood celebrities. What a contrast between my last post and this! Last time I was reporting from the front line of the unexpected but fully welcomed and fondly remembered late summer 2011 heatwave (RIP)... and now here we are, clocks gone back and dark evenings closing in, wrapped up warm, central heating on, surrounded by pumpkins and fake blood.

It's no secret, I love Hallowe'en. This was a love that was spurred on all the more from my experience of a full-on American 'We'en during my time in New York. I'm not sure Britain will ever quite reach those heady heights but it doesn't stop me trying year after year!

I have actually purchased a further four pumpkins of varying sizes. True story.

The past five years or so have been spent constructing elaborate costumes and getting very very (very) drunk. This year I've decided to take it easy, by purchasing a whole armful of pumpkins and getting my carve on in front of the umpteenth showing of Ghostbusters. Which to be honest, is probably more fun and with less hangover.

Altogether now: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... MASS HYSTERIA!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Last Days of Summer

Bee-ay-yoo-tiful beach 

But, Mr Weatherman, what have I done to deserve this? An extra week of summer. On my week off. On my week off BY THE SEA. Noone could have planned it better. I think it was the universe's way of making up for my lack of summer holiday this year.

I've spent this week back in Bournemouth with the rental units. And it's been a week of brunch, cinema, dinners, baking, beach and generally lazing around doing very little. I've been uber busy at work over the summer so I really needed this. I'm not really looking forward to going back to work tomorrow, but I think I'll be feeling more refreshed for sure. Which will last approx half an hour, before I'm working out how long til I can next take time off. I swear, someone needs to just pay me for hanging around chatting. I mean, I'm really good at that, you'd get your moneys worth.

 Beach Bird Stalking

I've spent the last couple of days at the beach. It's been the most weird thing to be lying on the beach, surrounded by people in their bikinis in October. OCTOBER! I mean, in mere weeks we'll all be carving pumpkins! Normally, I'm not a fan of unseasonal weather, but I guess I need to add a caveate to that. I'm not a fan, unless the weather is unseasonably WARM. Anything that increases the amount of time I can spend on a beach gets the thumbs up from me.

Cake and lashings of ginger beer 

I took the opportunity of a bit of time on my hands to treat the fam to my baking skillz. I chose the Apple Crumble Hummingbird Cupcakes to have a go at for two reasons. One, autumn = apples. And two, this recipe is EPIC. You have to stew the apples for the apple cake filling, then make up the cake batter as standard, then bake the cakes, then make custard FROM SCRATCH, then leave it to cool, THEN bake crumble for the topping, THEN whip cream to mix with your cooled custard and THHHEEENNN assemble all your toppings. I mean it took all day, I couldn't do this on a normal weekend.

Crumbly in my tumbly

Some people wouldn't have the patience for all the different stages, but I kind of like the luxury of spending all day creating something a bit spesh. Plus, I've never made custard properly before - it's actually surprisingly easy.

The cakes turned out really yummy, the custardy topping was unusual but actually worked really well to give the apple crumble effect.


Indulging in one of these guys with a nice cool glass of ginger beer in the last summer sun of the year in the parental backyard was a real treat.

Now, when's my next holiday?