May 31, 2008

Holiday- London

I'm off to London for a long weekend with my Beau. We shall be staying with the Fab Jj and G. We won't be back until Tuesday pm, so I prob won't blog until Wed pm my time.

Things I hope to do in London:

See Wicked on West End
Visit Museums
Shop at Camden
Visit Harrods
Other touristy things
Enjoy vegetarian food
Catch up with people or at least attempt to
Organise accommodation in Basingstoke for a wedding in June

One of my workmates just offered to cover the desk so that I can leave early! Yes!!!!

Point of Fashion:I don't think I wore this top last week
Current Obsession:Packing and flights

Posted by giffy at 04:22 AM | Comments (2)

May 30, 2008

foodblog

Last night I forgot to set my alarm, so this morning I woke up 15 min late. Now, I have my morning routine down and there is not 15min to spare at all. I even lay out my clothes the night before to minimise on "wake-up dither" as it means I can get dressed without thinking. I made up some of that sleep-in time by not making my lunch today. I grabbed some fruit and a biscotti and rushed out the door. I still missed my regular bus, but made it into work by the skin of my teeth.

I went for a short walk at lunch time and bought a sandwich and then I ate it. It was a really unsatisfying lunch. It was not the size or calorie content of the sandwich. It was just.. I wanted the lunch that I was going to pack! I missed getting to eat all my little individual pieces. It was really quick to eat too. It reinforced that I really enjoy *my* packed lunches. This is a good thing.

Here's the lunch I had yesterday:

Click on it to be taken to my flickr and see all the notes etc I put :) Oh yeah, I didn't eat all those biscotti, I just left the 2 I did take in their container when I took the photo!.

I would have had basically the same lunch today, although with slightly diff veg.

Tuesday night, my beau cooked dinner for me. It was spiced beef (like Fotalad made me last week). While that was all cooking, I tried my hand at making biscotti. I was originally disappointed with how flat they were, but I've since decided I really like them just the way they are. They weren't even truly cut on the diagonal (which is how biscotti are supposed to be cut), just on a bit of a slant. Admire them in their container. If you click you will be taken to notes and recipe.

I also put up two other lunches this week, one with fried rice and another with potato salad. I've also started saying how long they took me to prep in the morning. Just in case you were wondering.

I shall be away in London for a long weekend this weekend (leave Fri night return Tues evening), which means that I probably won't bake and I might not have any lunch pictures up (there's no point if they are exactly the same as previous days, unless to prove that I'm still packing.. hmm). However, I have begun working on some images of "How to eat Lum-yai" and "How to eat Mangkhut". So should have that to post next Thurs.

Stay cool after school!

Point of Fashion: still wintery
Current Obsession: Any biscotti left when I get home?

Posted by giffy at 03:40 AM | Comments (4)

May 29, 2008

Not Homesick, Really!

When I was a child, my mother was the guardian of several Thai children/teens sent by parentals to study/ learn English in NZ. These children would normally homestay at other houses, or attend boarding school, so didn't generally stay with us. We had a 3 bedroom home with 4 children and 2 adults (the number of rooms and people varied) and def didn't meet the requirements for a homestay, which in NZ involves the student having their own room with desk etc. No way there was space for that in our house.

One girl, (I think 13, but maybe older or younger) had just arrived in NZ and stayed a couple of nights with us before going to her homestay. My sisters and I were sharing a room at the time and she was put in with us (possibly one of us went into my brother's, much smaller room to make space). Every night she cried. Just, inconsolable crying. She'd be "happy as Larry" during the day and even getting into bed, but once in bed lying there in the dark, she'd cry. She didn't want to be in our house in NZ. She wanted to be at home. That means homesickness to me.

I have never been homesick. Not when I stayed over at friend's houses. Not at school holidays with my Granny and Grandpa. Not when I went to Otago. And not now, in Ireland.

I do miss things though. I miss people. I miss places. I miss foods. I miss smells. I miss events. I miss cuddles. I miss Wellington wind. I miss hugs. I even miss scoldings from my mother late at night when we are both too tired.

I don't miss them all the time and I count my blessings that I have such amazing things in my life to miss.

I am very happy to be here in Ireland. My work is pleasant, but it's really too boring for me to enjoy. I'm enjoying the amount of time I get to spend blogging, but I'd rather be out doing things. We did not move to Ireland so that I could be a receptionist. Seriously, I wouldn't be a receptionist in NZ. Not to belittle receptionists! My job is a temp job with minimal training and the desk is very quiet. I spend most of my day at a desk alone reading blogs and looking at the clock (3.20pm, 40min until afternoon tea break, 1hr 40min until end of day). I can not wait until it is over!

Beau and I have decided that I will probably stop working late July. It was good for me to have a job earlier, when he hadn't been paid yet. I get paid weekly and steady income is your friend. However, now he has started getting paid, much more than me, but he is still working these mad weekend shifts, so we don't see much of each other. We can't even really plan holidays 'cause we don't see each other enough to talk about it. I enjoy having time alone to myself in the apartment, and I expect Beau does too, but we also like having time together! After July Beau will still work a bit, but I'll be free when he's free so we can go on road trips and long not-weekends. Yays.

So, if I'm commenting on your blog heaps saying I miss you and am Jellus of you getting to do stuff and hang out with other ppl in NZ. I'm not lying, it's all true. However, I'm really excited to be other here and meeting new people and going new places and proving to myself that once again I can go somewhere I know noone and make friends and a life of my own. Also, when I'm not chained to a computer 35hrs a week, don't be surprised to see a down-turn in the blogging and commenting!

I can't wait until the work bit of my working holiday visa is finished!

Point of Fashion: something I didn't wear last week
Current Obsession: London

Posted by giffy at 03:32 AM | Comments (2167) | TrackBack

May 28, 2008

One of those girls

There was this add on TV in NZ... was it for deoderant, tampons or diet coke (isn't it great when advertising doesn't work)? I don't know, but it involved a couple of girls/women in their apartment. One of the girls flashes her bra at someone out the window?

Anyhoo, the main thing, is that one of the girls is wandering around with no pants on. She has a t-shirt and *underwear* and the panties are boyshorts, so she's showing less than a tip-top add featuring someone in a bikini. But, still. I thought it was ridiculous! No-one I know does that, it'd be cold and ... why? Except now I do know someone who does that. Me!

Here is why. I don't like doing laundry, especially ironing. My clothes must be in a nice condition for work. I have more work tops than "bottoms" (also, several of my work tops are knits and do not require ironing). If I keep my "bottoms" nice and clean and tidy, then I don't have to do laundry so often. So, when I get home, one of the first things I do is take off my work skirt/pants and hang them up. I might then flop on the bed and check email on the laptop, or read a book/magazine or go to the bathroom, all before deciding which of my non-work pants I will put on instead.

Why would I begin doing this in Ireland?

1) It is warm in my apartment. Really warm, like I get warm walking home and get inside and it is uncomfortably warm.
2) In Ireland, I have no trackpants. My non-work pants are mainly close-fitting jeans and not so comfy for flopping in.
3) We have an ensuite, so I have 2 rooms to wander around in. In NZ there was no wandering. I will not force the sight of me in boylegs onto my flatmates.
4) I think, since pole, I'm more comfortable with seeing myself in a mirror in short-shorts/hotpants. I was ok with wearing my pole shorts around the house at home in NZ. Muggle was less ok with this :P

Then I thought... maybe more people I know are comfortable wandering around in underwear in the privacy of their homes/rooms. Then I thought, should I be blogging this, my Dad and Beau's mum read this blog? Then I thought, saying that I am ok wearing only a top and underwear in private surely is only as "bad" as saying I'm ok with wearing nothing in the shower.

That's right, being naked in the shower is ok with me!

Point of Fashion: Naked... underneath my clothes
Current Obsession: I *think* it was advertising deoderant

Posted by giffy at 04:02 AM | Comments (7)

May 27, 2008

another weekend, alone

So, once again Beau left me to tend to the ailments of children in the Wilds of Ireland (well, Galway, which for whatever reason, I always want to type as Galyway). I didn't have any plans organised for the weekend except to possibly hang out with Dr A (Kiwi Dr who studied with Beau and went to school with my Sis) and her beau. This did not come to pass. But I was fine with that as was feeling pretty pajama and internet-y ;)

I did no baking this weekend or in the past week. Oh wait, there was that bread and butter pudding :D!

Pajama-ing and internetting was fun. Esp as the last post I did got lots of comments. Who knew that Scars and Soapnuts would elicit so many comments and so much interest. I mean, I knew I was interested enough to post about it, but I post about heaps of things that don't get that much response. It's the time and place of it all, I suppose :)

My Friday night started out well, with me coming home to an unxpected letter from my Jenni, which she and a combo of people had written messages to me during the madness of the 48. She had also included a photo from the 48. I somehow felt the need to take photos of me with it and then with the various other things people had posted me (NZ lollies and stationary sets). They are now online.

Also, Voltron had made me dinner! Omnomnom. I was so hungry coming home that I was tempted by evil takeaways, but I was like, No! You can make yourself a delicious sandwich. I didn't even have to do that. I truly appreciate having a flatmate who feeds me (it was a rice salad with celery, chicken and pineapple. He also made dinner yest which was roasted aubergine with mozzarella cheese and tomato... and parmesan too omnomnomnom).

After dinner I felt like some serious relaxing and planned to have a bath, but then my Jenni was online and I got to skype with her (and Leelee). Skype is my friend!

I did a fair amount of skyping this weekend and got to talk to both Bean and her mum (my south island mother). It was Bean's birthday on Sunday and I got to wish her happy birthday and she has a webcam, so I also got to see her baby belly! Is beautiful. SI mum was also good. She seems super busy with her work and friends.

The weather on Sat was warm and summery (unlike the days before and after, it does rain. alot. here;) and I met up with mytholder and delichan for lunch and a walk thru UCC (local uni). Delichan had been before but she studied in Galyway so there was new interesting stuff for her too. I can't get over how there are Cabbage trees all over Ireland and got her to take a photo of me with one (kiwis in ireland, together). May post it later. I then mooched along with them back to their house to have dinner cooked for me (3rd day in a row!) by mytholder. It was sort of spag bol... except the bol was chicken pieces. I'd have done a much better job of eating it, if I hadn't just had 2 large Spiders (ice-cream floats for the uninitiated). Belly was full.

We also watched Hot Fuzz. It was the first time for delichan and me. It was *awesome*. I mean, people had told me to watch it, and I was like, yeah, later. Well, later happened and it was oymysomuchfun!!! Just ... good. I want to watch it again, just so I'll laugh some more.

Then we watched.... the Eurovision Final! I didn't watch the whole thing. I don't think my brain could have handled it. I just have to say, I understand more now why Ireland thought entering a turkey (puppet) was a good idea and not making a mockery of the Eurovision. You can't mock that thing anymore than it mocks itself!

Sunday I wrote Sass's letter, mooched around at home before heading into town to suss suitable baby clothes for Bean's Lentil (I didn't choose that nickname, they did, it pleases me). The Corpus Christi procession prevented me from crossing the road for a while, but I made it to Mytholder's flat eventually, picked up book, bowl and played Guitar Hero with delichan. Then back home to have my 4th dinner cooked for me in a row.

I also took pictures for a "How to Eat a Lum-yai" thing I want to post on thursday. That took about 2 minutes. I spent about 2 hours trying to figure out how to photoshop all the images together into one image. My brain is sore. Please help!!!

Point of Fashion: I did Ironing this weekend!
Current obsession: Why must reading Fastfood Nation make me want fries???

Posted by giffy at 04:58 AM | Comments (5)

May 24, 2008

Re-introduction and other stuff

Oh yeah, a couple of new people have met me/are reading this, so I actually updated the side bar (go look there)!

One thing I often get asked about and regular readers will already know. Why "Giffy"? Giffy is quite different from the name on my birth certificate, but it is the first name I had and it is the name that many of the people who love and and who have loved me for a long time call me. In Thailand (oh yeah, half thai), it is basically the thing to have a nick name. Mine is Giffy, it's not my legal name, but I recently married and acquired a new one of those anyway (not that I use it, but it's there, lurking, watching, waiting and causing comment).


Jexia posted a meme about scars and I want to do it!

Tell the story of a (non-surgical) scar you have somewhere on your body. Answer and tag three other bloggers.

Yeah, can three of you tag yourselves or something?

I have a scar that I am very fond of. It's small and I didn't realise it was a scar for a long time. I just thought it was some kind of dimple.. thing. When I contract my deltoid muscle a little dimple appears. It is found on my left shoulder, just above my deltoid. I was later told that it's a scar from an injection. Possibly immunisation for Polio or TB. I totally don't recall getting it at all. I'm assuming it was before we moved to NZ (ie I was 4 or under). As far as scars go, it's pretty neat.


Also, playing around on the internet today, I came across Soapnut berries! Natures answer to soap and detergents. Apparently you can use them instead of laundry detergent and they work well and are kind on the environment. You can buy them in NZ and a trial pack is like $5 plus postage. This contains enough for 20 washes. Now, I am really interested in these, but I'm not sure if I can find them in a store in Cork. I *can* buy them online, but I would have to use an NZ charge card (can't get an Irish one until we've had our account for 6 months!) and then I'd get extra charges for converting currency etc.

So, the question is, is there one of you willing to try them for me in NZ? I'll pay for it (Hock! Shorror!). You'll have to do a write up and you have to be someone I know (I'm not randomly giving away soapnuts, except for how I sort of am). I've read a bunch of reviews online (there was a mums with baby forum and the cloth nappy advocates had tried both these and ecoballs?) and it seems pretty good. If you like your detergent scented though, they recommend you add a couple of drops of essential oils eg tea tree, lavender. Please tell me if you are interested. Click on the links so you can be educatedly interested.

Hope you all have a good weekend and stuff! *kisses*

Point of Fashion: Munster by accident
Current Obsession: Soapnuts... they're like hypoallergenic and used to treat eczema and psoriasis too!

Posted by giffy at 04:01 AM | Comments (33) | TrackBack

May 23, 2008

Entry 420 - Thursday Foodblogday

So, I am not planning a dinner at all! I was over at Mytholders on Sat and somehow it worked around to Fotalad agreeing to cook dinner for me. As long as I made bread and butter pudding (and custard?!) for the dessert.

When he first talked about it, it was going to be steak or mince and oven chips. I'm not sure if this is still the case or not. His household and girlf (Neid) are all being very closed mouthed about what he has planned. I do know that he has got plans though.

Via text on Tuesday:
"I have my courses picked kinda. I'm going for traditional Cork food with no frills :) Irish people were always too poor to afford frills and also I can't cook :)

Via phone call with Neid, Wednesday afternoon (yest):
He has all his ingredients ready!

Conversation with Mytholder, last night:
Mytholder: See you tomorrow for dinner.
Me: Hey, do you know what Fotalad is cooking? No one will tell me.
Mytholder: Bye!
*Cue sound of door being shut in my face*

Anyhoo, I'm looking forward to it. Fotalad texted me earlier on in the week to check if there is anything I won't eat. Answer: no brussel sprouts please. Although, I'd probably eat *one*, to be polite. It has also been confirmed that I will definitely not be served pigs trotters (crubins, apparently pronounced crew-beans). Even though they are a traditional Cork dish. I am not displeased by this.

So, I'll be cooking good old bread and butter pudding, except for how I prob won't put butter in it (I don't normally) and I'm going to try it with croissants instead of bread as I have heard that makes it extra delicious. I'm going to do the peaches thing again. Nom. I'll also prob use soy milk or other dairy alternative in case Delichan wants to try it. Her body is anti-dairy ;)

Photo time!
Here is a not great photo of a batch of cookies whose recipe I kind of made up.

They are Honey ginger biscuits, made with fresh ginger. If you click on the picture it will go to the recipe and other comments I've made about them. I *really* want other people to try this recipe as currently only I have made it. I'm thinking Jenni and Jexia may be interested? (Jexia, it could be another recipe for your list). It is super easy and a one-bowl recipe. My fave kind ;)

Also, here is a lunch I had this week!

If you click on the picture it'll take you to the image in my flickr photostream where I've added comments and annotation to the picture. Flickr is fun! I've also got today's lunch up there, but I had too much dark background in the frame and it isn't such a nice colourful looking pic.

I may take a pic of and add the recipe for the bread and butter pudding later, or I may just eat it. Omnomnomnom.

Point of Fashion: Dotty and Dotey
Current Obsession: Srsly what is for dinner??? and I still need a haircut.

Posted by giffy at 12:33 AM | Comments (7)

May 21, 2008

Joy Sadness Joy

Beau and I chatted with some of his family this weekend via skype and we were able to see our new niece being cuddled by *everyone else* thanks to webcam. I am less enamoured by the beauty of newborn babies when I don't get to cuddle them. She is very pretty though.

We were also informed of some very sad news. Two relatives have been diagnosed with cancer. They will be undergoing treatment, so all is not grim. It's difficult to wrap our heads around really as it all seems so far away and the news is second hand. I want to *do* something, but what? I could send a card, it seems trite, but I don't think I'd find it trite reversed. I think I'd understand that people are thinking and caring and feeling lost about being able to do nothing but send a card. Beau and I haven't talked about it at all. Maybe we will tomorrow on our walk to-from swing. We do our best discussions while walking.

Tonight I shall try and call *my* family. It will be my mother's birthday NZ time. I wanted to call her on mother's day, but was unable to as she had gone to Thailand for a funeral. It was for a family friend who was a mentor to her. Beau and I saw him when we were in Thailand. I'm so pleased that we made that effort. He was in good spirits at the time and talked to us both about his own illness while also giving my Auntie a bit of an english lesson. In thai, you modify people's names with their relationship to you. His was grandfather.

I feel so fortunate to be living in an age where our current level of communication technology is available. When my parents married and lived in Thailand, letters would have been the only viable method of communication to New Zealand. As a child I can recall calling my auntie at Mum's village in Thailand and someone answering the public phone and having to run up the road to my auntie's house to tell her there was a call. We have so many more options now, although I think letters will always be special.

When you see someone on a screen or talk to them on a phone or chat to them online you are still aware of a distance between you. When you recieve a letter, you hold in your hand something that they touched. These pieces of paper, this envelope, they are a physical connection between you and them. The ink on that paper came out of a pen that they were holding, that they might be holding right now.

Letters take a certain amount of planning, not necessarily in the writing, as people who have recieved mail from me know, there is a distinct lack of planning in the things I write or draw. But in order for a letter to be sent, one must obtain an envelope, stamps and actually find the time and place to post the thing.

Letters may also contain unexpected extras, like doodles, annotations and stickers! Sometimes letters are scented! I've had scented paper and scented pens before! Although not in the same letter. Sometimes you open that envelope and find that there are multiple letters in there. Glee!

The best type of letter though, is probably the one that comes with a parcel! ;)

Today I gave a letter to my Beau to post to my Jenni. The line at the post office was long and he had a bus to catch, so he'll post it tomorrow. He also rang me to tell me that my parcel from Satchimo-Sassa had arrived! I have a parcel at home and I know there is a letter inside!!! I've actually already prepared a return parcel, but I was waiting on the letter so that I could reply to it. Soon Sassa, soon!

Point of Fashion: turn for the worse
Current Obsession: parcel

Posted by giffy at 02:38 AM | Comments (7)

May 20, 2008

Speed Racer and Iron Man

Note that I did not say Speed Racer vs Iron Man. I am not pitting these two movies against one another, it's just that Beau and I went and saw both of these movies at the Cinema this weekend. It was our first cinema experience in Ireland and it was fine and surprisingly *not* more expensive than going to the cinema in NZ. In fact, if you go to the movies before 5pm (even on the weekend) it is definitely cheaper than going in NZ... which leads me to buy Candy and Popcorn and highlighter coloured Slushie drinks. Making it more expensive ;)

Beau and I liked both of these movies. We saw Speed Racer first. Neither of us had heard much about it. I knew it was on because I'd read interviews in the Entertainment section of the paper (we get papers at work) with Christina Ricci and Susan Sarandon. Both of them mentioned some surprise that they were both doing such a mainstream action movie. Both actresses said "bring on the $$$". Although I suspect they also wanted to work with the Wachowskis. Beau doesn't like knowing about movies before he goes to them (which lead him to announce to me during the second number of Chicago "This is a musical") so we went in without any expectations. It was fun! It was bright colours and a 60s anime nuclear family in a 60s projection of the near future. It was crazy cars that basically do martial arts. It was almost completely filmed against a green screen. It had us coming out of the cinema grinning and saying "Let's go again!" It also had me wondering if I could pull off Trixie's bob. I'm not sure that I could. I also love that they gave Trixie utterly useless hair clips, just because the anime char would have had them. Ahh, the sheer whizz-bang fantasy of it all.

We saw Iron Man the next day. Many people told us how good it was. I may have heard "Best Movie EVER" and "better than Transformers" bandied about. I knew I wasn't going to think it was the best movie ever. I didn't think Transformers was *that* great (don't hit me!) so I didn't think that was an impossible claim. It was good. Beau and I liked it lots. It is most likely a better movie than Speed Racer. I did initially find Gwyneth Paltrow an odd choice. But then I was all pleased that there was a movie love interest older than me (I fear that will soon no longer be the case). I also thought, she hasn't been in a big movie for a while. She probably wanted to get to be the hot action movie girlfriend. Plus, she looks hot, especially in the *high* heels that she wears in this movies. Those legs go the whole way up!

If we were offered the chance to see one of them again tonight. We'd both choose Speed Racer. I'm not saying that you will like it more than Iron Man, I'm just saying that we did!

There is a thrill to knowing that you can watch something that will make you genuinely smile, plus.... Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! It's like a mad rollercoaster ride.

Point of Fashion: not *all* black
Current Obsession: Trixie's Bob

Posted by giffy at 03:24 AM | Comments (1793) | TrackBack

May 17, 2008

the 48

Currently a whole bunch of my best buddies (including some v close family) are embroiled in the madness of the 48 hour film competition. I've been involved in my Jenni's team for the last 3 years (is it only 3??). Each year the team has gotten better. People have left the team and started new teams.

I have certainly had my fair share (some might say more than) of grumbles over my roles (does *anyone* enjoy holding a fleckie? Really?) or over filming outside in the cold and rain (Monster Hunter, anyone??) but there is also the great feeling of being part of a team, an insane team that makes a short film in 48hours!

I suspect a lot of the grumbles were due to lack of sleep and sensible diet. Also, I kind of hate waiting around doing nothing when I feel I could be doing something productive. Bringing a book is good, but I find that people who are feeling incredibly busy and stressed don't like seeing other people relaxing. I find that I am also one of those people ;P

One of the best things is having a buddy to do stuff with you. Like, I really loved doing props etc with Sam. It was lots of fun having someone to run around with. However, my fave thing has to be the acting. I love performing. I'm a huge show pony and every year I don't get a part there is a bit of me that wants to leave the team (Jenni's is big now) for a smaller one where I have a better chance of getting a big role. I wants all the acclaim, yo. I should work on getting more skillz (like Norm with his mad makeup and we really need more people who can play instruments). Big role doesn't need to be acting. I'd love choreo. I reckon I could probably do decent "stage manager" too.

This year as there is no way I could get a part (due to being on the Emerald Isle), I feel no sadness over not get a role, just sadness over missing out on the team bonding.

Hope the whole shebang (shebang, oh baby, when she moves, she moves) was an utter blast and can someone please tell me what muggle's team got???

Point of Fashion: 4 seasons in 1 day
Current Obsession: How long until they go up on youtube?????

Posted by giffy at 03:16 AM | Comments (121) | TrackBack

May 16, 2008

converted

I've made packed lunches before and I always feel virtuous when I take out the lunch I prepared earlier, however, the last two weeks, I've really gotten into it.

I don't know if it's the inspiration I get from lunchinabox.net, the mix of fresh fruit and veg or the joy of seeing it all look so nice, but I'm really getting into it.

Above is today's lunch :) Gap-filling and the 5 colour guideline are seriously helpful(thank-you Biggie)! I've also gotten into flickr a bit and if you click on the pic above, you'll go to it's page and see that I've added notes to various parts of the picture explaining what each of the parts of the lunch are.

I *did* turn my leftover Japanese curry of last week into Gyoza after I found a great chinese/asian grocery place that carries the wraps. They also had the lum-yai pictured above.

That's a picture of some of the uncooked ones. I actually made up about 30 of them and froze the majority (I cooked up some straight away and they taste yum!). Will def try again with different fillings. It was easy :)

Beau and I were supposed to have one of his colleagues and his wife over for dinner tonight, I planned on cooking roast beef for the first time. I bought the meat, researched the recipe and decided on one with a mustard and herb rub. However, Beau got a text late last night and called early this morning offering him a lot of money to do a night shift tonight (he'll basically be working 3 shifts in a row, but he should get to sleep a fair amount). He didn't feel he could turn it down, so our dinner has been cancelled.

We'll have roast for dinner tomorrow instead. Anyone want to join us? I'll be serving it with roast veges (kumara sweet potatos, potatos, carrots and parsnips, may also add some capsicum peppers, mushrooms).

Voltron and I shall be having Gyoza for dinner tonight (with steamed or stir-fried veg), and since Beau is working within easy walking distance of our apt, I'll probably drop him off a packed dinner too. I seriously worry about how that boy doesn't eat while he's at work. Weight is just falling off him (and onto me, so doubly good for me to go for a walk).

Oh yeah, to finish of the food pr0n, here's a pic of one of the brownies I made for dessert (but ate this morning at work ;)

I've also put up pictures and details of some rolls and other lunches from this week.

Point of Fashion: Can't change your spots
Current Obsession: Bento!

Posted by giffy at 12:37 AM | Comments (1570) | TrackBack

May 15, 2008

Lovely Day

It's been sunny and summery the last few days (not to last, the weather is due to change tomorrow), so I went out for a walk at lunch with one of my workmates. My work is out in the burbs and nextdoor to a local University (there are a few around). Walker has been working here for a while and also used to live near here and normally goes for a lunchtime walk a couple of times a week. He has a walk buddy in our maintenance man. Maintenance man is currently on leave, so I got to go! ;)

We did the "short" circuit (about 40min) going out work, down the side of the Uni to the river and walking through some public/ county land. It was lovely. There were trees around the river too, so it was cool. We saw trout in the river and several types of bird (robin, magpie, blackbird, pigeon, crow, mallard duck with ducklings) too. We walked by a couple of old bridges and a stone bench that had been there from when the "estate" had belonged to a private owner. A "fairly long time", which is probably over 100yrs anyway?

We saw other people out on lunch time jaunts too, but not many students. I suspect that most of them don't even realise that there is this nice little place behind their Uni (it isn't on the way to anywhere).

Anyhoo, I hope the weather stays nice and that Walker takes me along again. Although now I know, I'm tempted to take my packed lunch with me and munch it on that stone bench in the woods ;)

Point of Fashion: Summery
Current Obsession: Swing tonight!

Posted by giffy at 02:35 AM | Comments (311) | TrackBack

May 14, 2008

A couple of things

My belovedu is working in the same city as me. Is nice to have him next to me when I go to bed, except for how we are inclined to chat instead of going to sleep like sensible people. Also, his presense is disturbing to me in the morning.

I tend to semi-wake up and go right back to sleep in the morning (I looove the snooze button, but Beau doesn't, so trying not to use so much) and I enjoy this, it eases me into wakefullness and I have the dreams. However the last couple of mornings I've not been able to easily go back to sleep. Beau is all there... moving and breathing and stuff. It might actually not be his fault at all, it has also been *really* warm in our room and apartment. Bring on Summer!!

Yesterday we went on a walk after dinner. We both really enjoy doing this as when walking we will actually *talk*. When blobbing around the house we talk, but it's about stuff we need to buy, or chores that need doing, or tv we want to watch. We walking we are more likely to have deep and meaningfuls, like what we want out of next year, where we might have to live, whether we want to buy a house, work options. We have less of the regular and small distractions while we are out walking.

Beau and I will also try and watch TV shows together. However, we are very bad at this. Because we often work different hours to one another, we will tend to watch TV on our own while the other is out at work. This means we can get out of sync on TV. There are 3 different shows we are currently watching together, Californication, Pushing Daisies and Dexter. All american shows right now. Hmm.

I recently followed a link from Morgue's blog to Cory Doctorow's book, Little Brother. Little Brother is a novel about a teenage boy who fights for freedom, sort of. It's also a teen coming of age novel and a novel about how technology is being used to watch and control us. It is seriously good and it is free to download in a variety of formats. Cory has a whole big speel about why he is cool about having his books up for free downloading ("Giving away ebooks gives me artistic, moral and commercial satisfaction...."). Basically he is awesome and totally prevented me from getting an early night on Friday, because I wanted to read the book til the end. I also want to buy it. Will resist until I have a slightly more permanent home though. Also, for those of you active in the blogosphere, he is the co-editor of Boing Boing!

Now to round up my blog with links to games I have been playing!
This is another orsinal game, Chicken Wings are Not for Flying! Save the silly chickens who will try to fly by throwing them umbrellas!
This is one from the cooking games Zeph linked me to. Cooking Fish involves you making a takeaway pastry type thing in the shape of a fish. You want to make them as perfect as possible so that your customers are satisfied. The other cooking game I like is the one where you make Takoyaki :)
They are all silly and basic and fun :)

I need to read more books and do less point/click games though, as I will get OOS!

Point of Fashion: Dotey
Current Obsession: packed lunches

Posted by giffy at 12:15 AM | Comments (5)

May 10, 2008

Extracurricular update

This is my second attempt at writing this post since my first one fell foul of a series of unfortunate incidents. If this isn't a very exciting post, remember, the first one was better!

I was reading through my last few posts and a high proportion are about food (only one a week though!) but I'm seriously not *as* obsessed with it as the blog may appear. I've been doing other stuff! Honest! I prove it to you.

Choir
So, Ozgrl is a *huge* choir geek. She is seriously into choirs and has been from a young age. She is in 2 choirs back in Oz (secretary and founding member of one of them) and in a recent 3 month stint in Canada, joined a choir there and is planning to return and tour with them next year. Thus, when she arrived in Cork one of the first things she did was join a choir to join (and volunteer for the Choral festival). She then convinced me (not that difficult) to join too. It's a non-auditioned choir, so pretty cas, but everyone is very nice and friendly.

We rehearse on Tuesday nights and tomorrow we will be singing Schubert's Mass (in G, I think) at the North Cathedral. We didn't have enough time to learn a too many new hymns, so one is a hymn set to Danny Boy. We've already been practising Danny Boy for an upcoming concert/social thing. Yeah... you can't really get more stereotypical Irish than Danny Boy. It's enough to make me want to start drinking Guinness ;)

Next Tues is the last rehearsal before the choir breaks for summer. I probably won't join up again in Sept as I want to keep our time then free for overseas travel etc. Also, Ozgirl is leaving back for Oz at the end of this month (she's touring with one of her regular choirs back in Oz) so I'll won't have my choir buddy anyway.

Swing and other dancing
Beau and I have done 4 weeks of a 10 week Swing class. We're enjoying it heaps and this week we learned and worked on a bunch of linking moves. We can go from face to face turning into side to side, do some moves (eg Charleston, Kick the Dog, Pulse kick), go back to facing and do a few different moves and spins from there too. It's neat being able to do little routines! Beau also asked and got extra tips on signalling/leading. My special things to work on this week (the teacher gives me extra instruction 'cause I'm special) is keeping my weight low and not using my hips too much. This isn't Salsa!

Beau and I always try to start dancing with each other, but this doesn't usually last very long as the teacher will soon call for the "followers" (can't say girls/ladies etc as some are being leads) to move onto the next lead. IMHO Beau is pretty much the best lead in our class (not counting teachers and "senior students"). I'm sure this has nothing to do with the fact that we get to practise outside of class together ;)

I've already been to two of the regular Swing socials that they have in Cork. This Sunday I will probably be going to Suzy Q, which is a combined Swing and Salsa social and it starts with an open lesson in swing and in salsa. I've already done the open lesson before, but I'll probably do it again, just cause I like dancing class. Beau hasn't been to any due to work commitments, but I should see people from class there to dance with and I'll also lean on Ozgrl to come with me. That girl can't resist an opportunity to salsa.

Also, assuming that Beau doesn't get offered excessive amounts of money to work, we're going to attend a Salsa dancing bootcamp. 5hours a day of dancing. Awesome! That's a few weekends away, so we shall see.

Theatre
Neid, one of my new Cork buddies, is a total performance chickie ;) She's is currently performing in a one act play. Beau and I got a ride of Fotalad last night and went. She was fab! Her role was quite an emotional one and she totally had me buying into it. It was "pub theatre", taking place in the back room of a country pub about 30min out of Cork city. Theatre is always more fun when you get to eat and drink ;) There were two plays and I enjoyed the other one too (the second one was more of a comedy and the lead female was especially good). Beau hasn't been able to do the weekend social stuff that I've been doing so this was one of his first chances to meet some of the other people in Mytholders friend's group that I've been introduced too.

As you can see, I do *lots* :)

Point of Fashion: late night last night
Current Obsession: Beau has work in CORK!!

Posted by giffy at 04:45 AM | Comments (6)

May 09, 2008

A breakfast of cheesecake

It's Thursday which is Giffy's unofficial blog about food day. Now with pictures!

So, today we are not having anyone over to dinner. Hock and shorror, I know. Instead we are going to see a couple of one act plays, one of which will be starring my friend, Neid. Anyhoo, I still wanted to make something for tonight (Beau is actually making dinner, Japanese curry- rice :) and since I've been wanting baked cheesecake and haven't really seen much in the way of baked cheesecake in Cork (you don't see in that much in Wellington either). I though I would continue to work on conquering my fear of new foods (I'll try bread soon! Maybe this weekend) and try and bake one myself.

I looked at quite a few different recipes and settled on two that I would use as my base, a chocolate one from the Kraft website that uses philedelphia's and a berry one that uses marscapone. I mixed and matched using what I could find at the shops and what I had on hand and last night I made this:

I'm not completely happy with it. It is delicious, don't worry about that! It's just, I can make it better, so I'm going to try to again, maybe next week.

Things I want to change
I want to actually try using tinned cherries, which is what I meant to do this time, but I forgot to buy them somehow, so used strawberries we already had in the house. I will use more chocolate next time, maybe double! I will try it with marscapone as the taste is a bit more mild. It is more expensive though, so maybe I'll try half and half. I will add a dish of water to the bottom of the oven. The Kraft website (they have a whole section on cheesecake baking tips) says this may prevent the cracking on the top (it won't be caused by stirring too fast and over aerating, I did it all by hand baby). I'll add some milk when I make the base, it was too crumbly and didn't hold together well. I'll also maybe leave it another 5 min in the oven.

If you click on the picture, I've posted the recipe that I did use on my new flickr photostream that I made just for food photos. There are also photos there of one of my lunches this week and pinwheel date scones I made using Anna's recipe, except I added dates. Mm-mm!

In other news. Beau has theoretically been paid his *first* pay, but the check will not clear until next Tues. WTF????!!! We are both somewhat annoyed, but make ourselves feel better by planning to visit with J-j and G in London on the long weekend. I am *so* going shopping ;)

Point of Fashion: I thought it was going to be warmer
Current obession: how my food photos will be received

Posted by giffy at 12:20 AM | Comments (2)

May 08, 2008

Cork cf Wellington

Differences
People don't hate rabbits here
You can't buy envelopes at the post office
The one-fingered salute is a mini-wave done with the index finger while driving
Regular supermarkets make you pay for shopping bags
Not many asians (no PIs)
You can go to Europe for the weekend
They exclaim over how windy it is, when it isn't gale force
Lots of Polish people and shops
A big river runs through it
Buses between city centres are frequent and inexpensive
Flying can be cheaper than any other form of transport
Beau gets paid more to work a Sunday
Getting paid once a month is the norm
You can't buy cheap measuring cups and spoons
They didn't have WWII, they just had the Emergency
Tea is *huge*
Deciduous trees
Asian food supplies are hard to get
The only home baking I've had is my own
No car and fear of driving one in town
No Onesie pajamas!
Chocolate is generally sweeter (not necessarily better)
Jaffa cakes are affordable :)
No one I know has Rockband
A lack of family
There is only one real temping agency and it is not as good
Credit cards are not automatically offered to you when you join a bank
They haven't really heard of drinking games, the main one goes "here is a drink... drink it" apparently just the first few people we happened to talk about this with denied knowledge of drinking games. "I have never" is universal
I'm an expert on everything NZ
Stone walls as opposed to barbed wire fencing
When answering the phone people make comments about how far I've come
There is no starbucks in town
added
If you weren't born in Cork, you can't say you're from Cork
You can park on both sides of the road, ie you're driving along the road, you see a park on the other side and you drive over the RH lane and park.... facing the wrong direction!!!
Eurovision (this year's Irish entry is Dustin the Turkey. He's iconic here, kinda like Thingy)

Similarities
Left hand driving
Cents
Both embarrassed by and proud of the weather
Lots of people have been on holiday in Australia
Buses don't run to time
Country roads are horrifying
Beau gets more work out of town
English isn't ;)
People complain about politics and the increasing price of everything
Job vacancies is a popular section of the newspaper
Mail merge is a magical thing that I have control over and many others in my office don't
I know people who will play board games with me and lend me Beautiful Katamari
I am asked to go shopping with others
I know a librarian at the central library
I befriend people with small children
I have a flatmate who makes me dinner regularly (around once a week)
One-way streets to confuse out of towners
Buskers (Cork has a scary marionette guy and some South America pan pipe guy who plays stuff to Celine Dion? These are surely a match to living statue and the juggling dude)
Friends get worried by the idea of you walking alone through town late at night
when out, men tend to drink beer, women tend to drink wine
Sale racks are my friend
Saturdays and school holidays mean many teenagers in town
Sheep and grass feature prominently in touristy things
Teenage girls wear too much make up and outfits that boggle (like seriously, why spend all that time on your hair and make up and then wear a track suit?)
Chinese, Thai and Indian are popular restaurant types
Kebabs are easy to obtain fast food
All day breakfasts
Obesity, binge drinking culture and carbon footprint may be found in many a newspaper headline
added
Minority Jokes, different minorities, same put-downs (eg, what do you call a XXXX in a suit? A defendant!)

I will probably add to this list as I think of other things or if people say stuff in the comments

Point of Fashion: time to find a drycleaner
Current Obsession: surreptitious photocopying

Posted by giffy at 03:55 AM | Comments (501) | TrackBack

May 03, 2008

Asian themed

Tonight I have Homebody coming over for dinner (if people don't tell me what nick names they want me to use, they won't necessarily get the one that they want). My choices for the dinner were mainly based around the fact that I wanted to use up the chicken stock I made (and froze) using the carcasse of a roast chicken a couple of weeks ago (that chicken has already fed 5 people as a roast and then was used to make stock/broth and fed Beau and I as chicken, rice and brocolli soup).

Entree
Anyhoo, I decided I wanted to make chicken and sweetcorn soup and I have chosen this recipe as a basis. However, I couldn't find any creamed corn at the supermarket, so I'll probably add more regular sweet corn and some cream (and possibly some flour or corn flour) to make up for that. I'm also substituting the chinese wine with mirin (sweet japanese cooking wine) and I have enough (not too salty) stock that I won't add that extra cup of water.

Main
Since I'm having an asian style entree, I wanted to have an asian style main. Now to me, beef and lamb are really *not* typical asian meats. Seafood, chicken and pork are what I think of. I fear to cook seafood (hopefully I'll get over this) and we're already having chicken in the entree, so pork it is. I'm going for this pork stir-fry recipe. It appeals to me because you make your own stir-fry sauce (as opposed to several others I found on-line that had pre-made stir-fry sauce as an ingredient. I will be substituting the crushed dried red pepper with chilli powder, the green beans with frozen veg or brocolli, and the peanut oil with olive oil or some other oil that is already in our pantry.

Dessert
Chocolate dipped figs (this time regular dried variety, but hopefully next time will have soaked them in brandy... or maybe cointreau first) and strawberries.

Beau and I have bought a 2.5kg block of 70% dark chocolate. O'Conaills is a local chocolatiere that sells chocolates and a large range of hot chocolate and are really decently priced. They do sell smaller blocks, but Beau and I decided that we were up to the challenge of using up the 2.5kg before the use by date, which coincidentally is also the time that we have to leave Ireland anyway. However, we are already more than a fifth of the way through due to brownies, hot chocolates, this dessert and general munching. Plus, there are so many other recipes to try.

Other recent cooking
I had my first attempt at bread baking for the first time in... I can't remember, I *think* I recall making bread aged 7 at school? Anyhoo, it was a packet mix of brown soda bread (soda bread is *huge* in ireland), all it involved was adding water, mixing, adding a bit more flour as they recommended a bit too much water and then baking. I also added nuts (mixed nuts and walnuts) because I wanted too and we had some spare.

It came out really well and was very easy and inexpensive too. It only makes a small loaf and it fits in my cake it, so is basically awesome. I may actually brave yeast and try making more types of bread in the foreseeable future. I know other people who manage it!

Point of Fashion: long shorts or short longs
Current Obsession: chocolate recipes!!!

Posted by giffy at 03:07 AM | Comments (359) | TrackBack

May 02, 2008

Excuses, excuses

Well, Mytholder Dinner Night is not happening tonight. There are a few reasons:

1) Mytholder is winging his way to Japan!
2) Beau is out of town (Galway, again)
3) This is a big one, Homebody (Mytholder's flatmate) and I were going to have Mytholder Dinner Night anyway, but then he wanted to go see the Iron Man movie with Fotalad and I wanted to go to Musica Intima (a fancy canadian choir performing in Cork for one night only and I can have a free ticket) with Ozgrl.

I have planned the meal for tomorrow and have already made the dessert (mostly so that Beau could take some with him this morning and not feel too left out), but I'll see if I can wait until the actual day to blog about it.

In the mean time, I managed to not blog at all yesterday! It was due to all the comments I got on LJ. Ah comments, I love you well. *hint bloody hint*

Anyhoo, I've decided based on the comments to try and seperate my food posts from my regular posts, ie Tuesdays post had a huge bit with recipe for Impossible Pie and then had a big bit on other stuff. I'll be breaking them up into two seperate posts in the future. Shouldn't make much more effort for you or me, but makes it easier for those with a particular interest or disinterest in food stuff.

Yesterday Beau and I went to our "third" (actually 5th cause we attended 2 free ones in the Lifelong learning festival) swing class and the teacher taught the class the charleston (rock step, kick, step, kick, hitch, back, down). I learned this at one of the free classes and because there were so many people in the class and it was difficult to all see the teacher at once (she made us go in lines) she asked me to come up front with her to demonstrate.... ah, the sweet show pony joy! She asked another girl too, but I was the first one. When we were dancing it in couples Beau and I were also one of the 3 selected couples to be asked to go to the front too.

Having done so many types of dancing previously (mostly jazz ballet, but I've also learned classical ballet, character ballet, tap, hip-hop, some latin and of course "pole") learning new steps is easy for me. The teacher has actually said that I can switch to "improvers" (ie not beginners) if I want. I mainly need to work on style and also the whole following the lead thing, but it would actually probably be *easier* to do that in the improvers class where there is a better student to teacher ratio and there would be more experienced students and leads.

However, swing is something that you really need a partner for and I want Beau to be that partner. There's no point (apart from my own joy out of doing something fancy) for me to learn more complex and flashy steps if I can't do them with Beau. He is the lead and I *really* need to learn that.

Currently I am getting heaps out of the classes by dancing with Beau and learning and working on signalling. I really enjoy dancing with him and I'm only going to enjoy it more as we get better at dancing together. Our teacher also makes time to come and give me tips on style (ie, you need to kick lower) which is something that she doesn't have to do, esp in a beginners class where she has to spend a fair amount of time on the people having difficulties with timing.

Things are clicking for Beau and I and we've had fun tripping down the street "one, two, triple step, Doop, doop, doobedoop".

Point of fashion: Do *you* have time for ironing?
Current Obsession: Oranges, molecules, heart to heart.

Posted by giffy at 12:48 AM | Comments (230)