Sunday, 9 April 2017

Sunday Summary | Must be the reason why I'm king of my castle

Dear FOQ

Anyone else slightly stunned by the raging ball o' fire up there in the sky? ๐ŸŒž๐Ÿ˜Ž
It's a bit nice, innit. I even went Out in the Sun today; sat in the park for about forty-five minutes with a couple of essentials:

until environmental conditions prevailed (winds got up, coffee kicked in), then sat in the 'garden' (aka the strip of quite well maintained grass separating QB Heights from its communal car park), watching the blossom fall and catching up with two months of Guardian Weekend backlog.

{'Spod in the Sun' Selfie | wearing new sunnies
that make me look like an insect ๐Ÿ}
Which is nice.


This fortnight, I have mostly been ...

Reading ๐Ÿ“–


My own history will have been rewritten to omit me and my boring reading history by the time I finish this book.

However ... one or two passages have jumped out and screamed, "WOKE!" in my face like some sort of Zeitgeisty Youth with a slippery grip on the grammaz:

Watching ๐Ÿ‘€

Oh, Netflix, you clearly noted I was reaching the end of the Gilmore girls and their amazing all-encompassing self-involvement at the expense of all others (the original working title, probably) and kindly planted series 2 of Miranda firmly in my sights.

Gary. Gary. And thrice, Gary.

*swoons a bit*

And yes, I binge-watched the whole season in a day and a half (it was only six episodes long but that's really not the point).

But, Gary.

A word, however, on Gg, because, oui, I have watched every single episode now 

and I feel a bit bereft (although I'm about to rewatch the four recent specials so I can go all gooey over slightly-more-mature Luke 

and Kirk, and Jess, who
really grew into himself). 

The original series ended the way it was supposed to.

So ... why spoil it with the end of the four-parter?! Anyway.

I did however appreciate the moment where Rory tells Logan she needs to get changed for Lane's baby shower in the back of the car Dirty Dancing-style. Very self-referential, of course, because:


(I'm a very sad geeky individual, did I mention that?)

Now, if the 'flix would only reinstate the entire series of Buffy I might be a truly happy customer ...

Going for a what-I-call Casu-walk (see what I did there? I punned.) ๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿฐ

... to Rahgate to check out the castle grounds last weekend, because, y'know, having lived in the area for more than fourteen years, I had never found the castle grounds.

{... or is it a beautiful butterfly?}
I found 'em.

{That's not them: that's the United Reform Church looking
very stately against the sky}

{Magnolia blooming ๐Ÿ’œ}

{Steps up to the grounds}

{Peripheral pathway, or one of many}

{Now we're getting somewhere!}


{Reigate from on hei-gate}

{The history bit}

Very pleasant it was too.

Next step: to walk the caves! There are organised tours during the summer – I think it's time I made like The Jam and went Underground ... Who's with me?

And do we need wellies?

Caramelising Onions ๐Ÿ˜‹

Ohhhhhhhhhhh yes.

The holy grail of food you never knew how much you loved until you devoted almost an hour to pan-frying stubborn slices of red onion in sugar and balsamic vinegar (because you were slack with the slicing and stingy with the oil).

{Disclaimer: these aren't mine | via here}

I did it.

Oh yes. (From this recipe, fyi – thanks for sending me this one, Natalie!)

And no, I did not slice the onions nearly fine enough first time round because, knives:

but, second time's the charm:

{These are mine. Ohhhh yeah.}

Pinterest Pins of the Fortnight ๐Ÿ“Œ

Fortnightly Web Finds ๐Ÿ•ธ๐Ÿ”Ž

Serious (albeit with a side-serving of silly) ๐Ÿ˜‰

How we made Comic Sans | on | (With the stolen souls of puppies, was it?)

{ARGH! My eeeeeeyeballs! They BURN! | Photo: Cern, via here}
• All hail this dude. I feel a full chorus of a certain Mariah Carey song may be due here:

And then a heeeeero comes along ...

50 Reasons Why Everyone Should Want More Walkable Streets | (well, not everyone; don't feel like we're imposing this on you or anything) (although it would be nice if the pavements in our towns and cities didn't suddenly taper off into nothing ...) | on

Silly ๐Ÿคก

• I'm not for cats (snooty, fluffy balls of clichรฉ – give me a ๐Ÿซany day) but it's hard not to be tickled by this: Man recreates classic film scenes with his cats. LOL | I particularly like Ghost. The tiny pot! | via The Dodo

{@Moviecats | via here and here}

Lionel Richie-themed street embroidery in pictures (Lionel Stitchie, by artist Molly Evans Fox) | and why not? | on

{by Molly Evans Fox | via here}

• 19 Slightly Odd Things Every Fitbit Owner has Done at Some Point | So true on probably about 18 points here! | on BuzzFeed | via Glenda T


• The following link is NSFW*. NSFChildren or for anyone who finds foul-mouthed chefs offensive: John Legend (that silken-voiced little gem of a man) sings The Insults of Gordon Ramsay | on YouTube | via the DailyQuicky:

*Not Suitable for Work

and finally ...

• Mario Wienerdude has done it again with another brilliant Musicless Music Video | Rolling Stones | on YouTube

That's sadly all I've got time for (she says in the manner of a hackneyed telly presenter) but I cannot bid you adieu (so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbyeeee) without giving a big-up to my Jack Fairwomen (Wetherspoons Women of Quality // Babes who Breakfast): Jess, Mimi (honorary Voicerox Lovely), Jenny and Charlie. Always a pleasure to break bread scoff pancakes and bacon with you all.

qb xx

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Sunday Summary | I don't know if we're in a garden ...

Dear FOQ

First of all, I'd like to wish all mummies out there a very Happy Mothering Sunday – especially my very own Ma QB (since I'm hanging out with her today and it'd be rude not to, quite frankly). And I'm sure she'd love me to mention that time (about 33 years ago) that I fell out of a tree on Mothering Sunday and ended up in hospital.

I'm all heart, I really am.

{From 2014}

I would also like to wish Lady Fiona a very Happy Birthday, and to both Fi and Bi, a very happy first Mothering Sunday as Mummies!

Second of all, can anyone tell me why Blogger sometimes doesn't bother to save your drafts even though you've been hitting Save all day, and yep, working on the wretched blog for much of the day? Ugh.


This fortnight, I have mostly been ...

Reading ๐Ÿ“–

The very act of rewriting history to change facts, or to completely omit human beings, feels very ... current.

But apart from that, I'm kinda:

I need something fruity and zippy to read next ...

Watching ๐ŸŽฅ

Guess what?

{Well, yuh, Rory, why wouldn't you?}
But also, rewatching

The Lovely Bones

Stanley Tucci, though. Creepy as.

Also rewatching:


For the wisecrackin', mostly.

But wait, what!? Apparently this film is now ten years old.

Enjoying all the Fun of the (London Book) Fair ๐Ÿ“š

... with workmate Emma.

... By enjoying I do mean walking the length and breadth of Olympia aka the human greenhouse, narrowly colliding with Very Important Publishing People who are So Important They Must Stop Dead Like Saturday Shoppers in the Middle of a Walkway to air-kiss ("Mwah, mwah, Lavinia, daaaaahling") or answer a Very Important Phone Call ("Yah, Dulcimer, I'm at the Fair ... but let's touch base later and I'll fill you in on the Paula Hawkins thing ...").

And burning out by about half eleven because of a complete dearth of seats. Ehgads.

However, in Positive News, I did get to see former workmates (from assorted sources) Caroline H and Pinelopi; if only I were an airkissy-mwah-mwah-schmoozie type; I'd have fit right in. Sadly I didn't get to see any of my Foyles Goyls for a veritable pick 'n' mix o' reasons but, hey, soon, ladies?

Also, our stand (Search Press, fyi) looked the mutts'; so much arty-crafty beautiful goodness. Nice, nice work. Feeling all the pride.

Lunching with my Lovelies ๐Ÿ’•

... after a second a cappella rehearsal.

We decided that when in Rahgate we would do things the Rahgate way, and thus we found ourselves lunching at Cรดte (on Bell Street) which is like well posh and that. Just like what we is, innit?

In residence were: Jess (and son Jacob and Jacob's friend Laura, both out of shot), Charlie, Al, Jenny and Alun.

{Photo courtesy of Jess}
And I think we all came away pretty stuffed to the gills (I highly recommend the steak frites. I'd flippin' marry 'em if I could).

Too stuffed even for dessert which, we discovered, thanks to Charlie, comes with interpretative movement. (This is especially for Alun.)

Chocolate profiteroles look like this:

Chocolate sauce, however, moves like this:

All clear on that? Good.

(Charlie K, I love you very much, you flaming dessert-dancin' lunatic, you.)

Enjoying a mate date with this righteous beauty ๐Ÿ’“

{Photo courtesy of Nats because I clearly couldn't focus by this point.}

at ASK, where we did all the catching-up and life-affirmations.

No hard partying or Miley Cyrus renditions this time, though; it'd been a long ol' week!

Hittin' Them Trails HARD ๐Ÿ‘ฃ

(or, in common vernacular, taking myself out for a leisurely stroll last Sunday afternoon.)

Why yes, I extracted myself from the Den of Slack for an afternoon, first time in weeks, by and large following one of the routes in this lil' book:

with the inevitable segue when the written route began to make absolutely no freakin' sense. (It's the book; it's always the book, it's never me, noooo.)

Luckily the route was one I had done once or twice before in assorted manifestations so the homing instinct was good and strong.

I'm secretly a pigeon.

The book, being the book, gave the route at three and a half miles.

With the addition of the 1.87-mile walk to get to the start of the route (Rahgate Hill Cah Pahk), up Wray Lane which is an absolute mo-fo of a lane to clamber up, I clocked up seven miles in total over just under two-and-a-half hours which is slow-ish for me but not hideous (especially given I stopped at the Cah Pahk Caff for a bottle of water and to slap plasters on both heels, then stepped aside to take various photographs as the route progressed).

Here be some photographs from the walk what I done did:

{The view from Reigate Hill}

{Taking my enormous forehead for a walk.
In my defence it was hella windy up there on t'hills.}

{Oh look, it's the Inglis Memorial again!}

{On Colley Hill, very possibly labelled as somewhere entirely different
in a previous post.}

{The beautiful mosaic ceiling of the memorial}

{Deliciously imposing water tower}

{Spring is sprunging!}

{From Rahgate, looking Betchworth-way ...}
Pinterest Pins of the Fortnight ๐Ÿ“Œ

Fortnightly Web Finds ๐Ÿ•ธ๐Ÿ”Ž


"My chickens saved my life" | Experience on | via birthday girl Fiona

Things I wish I'd been taught at school | Sali Hughes for The Pool

• This warms the cockles of my analogue heart: Physical books outselling digital books | on Guardian Books | via Twitter | Because you can't get a digital book signed by the author, now, can you? Noooo. *smugface*

• This trailer for Holly Becker (of decor8 blog)'s new book Decorate for a Party: 

looks beautiful (and ridiculously aspirational/ambitious but who cares? It's PRETTY):

Decorate For a Party Book Trailer from Holly Becker on Vimeo.


• LOVE this: I eyebombed my miserable town | on BoredPanda

(Watch out, town o' mine, I only have eyes for you. And R-eye-gate, of course. ๐Ÿ‘€)

• When the NYC subway banned dogs unless they fit in a bag, these owners got creative | on InspireMore | via workmate Edd

{This one for the win | via here}
And something especially silly to see us out ...

via workmate Juan


That's all from me for now – stay happy, stay healthy, stay safe.

qb xx

PS If anyone's wondering how the toad in the hole turned out (cooked last night), I will say only this: always ensure your sausages are cooked thoroughly before you submerge them in batter. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

And never trust anything you witness on social media.

Also, I may never want to eat sausages again.