Thursday, 31 July 2014

Tarting up the Guest Room

Lilac is so last year apparently

I have started work on decorating the guest room.  It used to be our eldest sons room when we moved here,  then our youngest son inherited it.  It was all a bit 'masculine' with black blinds and spotlights.  When our youngest moved out I gave it a quick coat of white paint and never got around to doing anything else to it.  Now I'm looking to give it a bit of a make over.  I don't won't to spend a lot of money on it, but just freshen it up a bit and get it ready for when the house goes on the market next year.

  I have decided to replace the black venetian blinds so have been looking for lilac fabric. The quilt pictured above used to be in our room but has now taken up residence in the guest room so I wanted them to match.  Simple I thought, but oh no, apparently lilac is out of fashion.  Nobody wants that colour anymore!  Really?  Or is it that those who decide these things want us all to go out and buy the  new 'in' colour.

I was determined to buy the fabric today so I could get on with it, no more procrastinating, so ended up with something I'm not totally happy with but will have to do.  My blind making skills leave a lot to be desired but I have dressed the windows of both my sons homes and our home with my rather rustic home made blinds.  They do the trick and are cheaper than having them made.

OH has taken down the spotlights and put up a new light fitting and it has a new 'shade'  Black shelves have been taken down and I filled the holes.  Now we just have to find the little sander which seems to have disappeared in the big garage tidy up.

All the 'selling your house' books say to keep things neutral so I won't be too adventurous with my decorating, and I won't be spending a fortune on it. It's going to be a bit of a challenge to make it look good, without being too boring.

Anyone out there got any brilliant, cheap, neutral decorating tips?

Chickpea xx

Wednesday, 30 July 2014


I am so so tired today, lack of sleep is really getting to me.  It was a very hot day at work and lots of traffic to deal with on the way home so I am pooped!  Excuse the rather short post today.

I typed out this recipe for a friend today, it is from Miss Masala by Mallika Basu, I have used this book a lot when cooking Indian food which I love.  I used to love making these but as they are made with atta flour I can no longer eat them.  So here's the recipe for you, I hope you enjoy :)

I'm off to curl up on a chair

Chickpea xx


110g (4 oz) Wholewheat flour or atta (chppati flour) plus extra for dusting  
(I used atta)
1 pinch of salt.
4 tsp butter

  1. Place the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Add 1 tbsp of hot water and mix it vigorously into the flour.  You will get a crumbly mixture.  Add a bit more hot water and repeat the process.  The idea is to break the flour down and incorporate plenty of air into the dough.

  1. Keep adding the water (about half a mug in total) until you get a hard dough that does     not stick to your fingers.  You won’t need all the hot water in the cup.  Now go into the dough with your knuckles kneading the dough.  The more you knead the softer the rotis will be.

  1. Roll the dough into a thick sausage and break it off into four parts, forming each of these into a dough ball.  Leave the dough balls in the mixing bowl, cover with a clean damp cloth and rest for 30 mins.

  1. Lightly flour a chopping board and set a large, non stick frying pan over a med. heat.  Dip the first dough ball in the flour, flatten and roll it out into a disc about 1 mm thick.  

  1. Place the roti in the frying pan and heat for 2 mins on each side until the little bubbles appear on the side being cooked.  You may need to press down on the roti to encourage this.

  1. When the bubbles appear, take the frying pan off the heat and toast the roti directly on the hob for a couple of seconds on each side until it swells up. Use tongs to do this.  When the pale brown spots on the roti turn darker and it swells up that means it’s done.

I love the bit where it swells up!

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Today and Dreaming of the Future


We are now back to work after our stay- cation and back to reality, but that isn't so bad.  It has been a good day.

We had a lovely dinner,  I made a blue cheese, griddled pear and walnut salad with herby dressing.  I had the cheese board in the restaurant yesterday and couldn't eat it all.  The blue cheese was brought home in my napkin.  I have no shame :)

I am making the slugs happy by getting them drunk on beer, perhaps they will stay away from my vegetables now.

Home grown spinach and tomatoes.  I can't tell you how much joy it brings to grow my own food.

My beans are climbing up the bamboos.  I am really looking forward to eating these, and am already thinking of delicious things to do with them.

The washing is blowing on the line.  I love picking in fresh smelling laundry dried outside.

 Inspired by all you clever crocheters out there, I am planning a new project.


I have also been looking online at lovely little cottages with lots of space around them, and no noisy neighbours.  However this is not going to happen until I get my act together and tart this house up enough to go on the market.  If we are going to move it will have to be while we have the health and energy to do the work on another house.  I hate the whole buying/selling process, I find it extremely stressful, which is why I have been here many years longer than I had planned.  We bought this house for the children to be near school and college.  They are grown and gone now.  It is time to move on.

  I am setting myself the challenge of doing at least 1 thing a week towards this goal, and listing it on here......gulp, There,  I have said it out loud.  I'm hoping it will give me the incentive to get on with it.  Today I listed some carpentry work on Rated People.  We have been trying to get someone to replace wood on our doorframe, nobody seems interested in doing it because it is a small job, very frustrating.

I hope you all had a good day,  welcome to claire, winkelscrazyideas and fran :)

Chickpea xx

Monday, 28 July 2014

Racing the Tide

The OH took another day off today, that's Friday AND Monday, I guess this is our summer holiday then.  People think when you are self employed you can take as much time off as you want.  The reality is very different.  For many years we just didn't have holidays, but now he does take a day off here and there and every few years we have a proper holiday.

We decided that we would do the staycation thing and go on a trip.  It was so nice at Marazion yesterday and as OH hasn't been there for ages we headed that way.  I did suggest using the back roads, but.........    So after queuing on the bypass for ages, and finding somewhere to park we treated ourselves to lunch - well we are on holiday.

My parents used to bring me here when I was little.  The swimming for little ones is ideal, and then I would help my dad dig for worms to take fishing. He was a sea angler which involved climbing down the cliffs and standing on a rock for hours.  As you can imagine, when he took me with him as a child I would get bored very quickly and with in half an hour would be tucking into the sandwiches and asking if it was time to go home yet.  I also hated seeing him hitting the fish on the head to kill them, and as for the gutting when we got home!  No wonder I'm now a vegetarian.

After lunch we decided to walk across the causeway towards the mount.  It is a lovely walk but you do have to time it right for the tides.  The tide was coming in as we set off, we were not actually going all the way as we have been across before and didn't want to catch the boat back.  We had one memorable trip back on the boat when our youngest was a toddler.  He screamed all the way.

As you can see I didn't have the most appropriate shoes for paddling.  Well it was raining when we left home so we didn't think we would be walking on the beach.

At this stage we decided to turn back

The tide comes in very quickly and often catches people unaware

We were back on the beach but there were still people attempting to get across including someone with a buggy!

The causeway is rapidly disappearing

I hope that dog can swim

The easier option when the tide is coming in.

I hope you enjoyed the walk across the causeway,

Chickpea xx

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Samba, Sea and St Michaels Mount

 I am absolutely shattered after a busy Samba weekend.  On Saturday evening we played in the Perranporth Carnival and today we played in the Marazion Carnival.  Yes folks it's Carnival season.

It was lovely to see so many people turn out for Perranporth Carnaval.  The town suffered badly in  storms with huge seas washing into the town.  There is a bar on the beach which has been there for years, we have been in there many times, usually in winter after a walk on the beach.  During the storms the bar was in danger of disappearing as the huge storm washed away thousands of tons of sand.  What was once a gentle slope up to the bar was turned into a cliff of sand within a few feet of the bar.  It is unbelievable how much sand just disappeared leaving the landscape completely changed.  After every high tide we were all asking 'is The Watering Hole was still there?'

I took these photos the morning after a particularly stormy night.  As you can see it was extremely lucky to survive.

This afternoon we were playing in the beautiful village of Marazion which overlooks St Michaels Mount.  Locals and visitors gathered for a wonderful afternoon of music and dance.  I feel so lucky to live in such a beautiful County.

I have lots of housework to catch up on after all the fun and games, so I'd better get on with it!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend,

Chickpea xx

Welcome to thrift deluxe and Kate :)

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Pasty Envy

First of all I would like to tell you that  I slept for 5 hours last night, yes 5 flipping hours all in a row, no waking up!!!  I can't remember the last time that happened.  Granted I did not go to sleep until 1, but boy does it make a difference.

As some of you may know,  I'm gluten intolerant, not Celiac, so can get away with VERY TINY amounts.  I have had to totally change the way I eat and at times I have got very down about it.  I love bread made by local bakers, pasta, local beers,  well the list goes on, all of which a can no longer eat or drink.  I am also a vegetarian and have been for nearly 25 years, I am not going compromise on that.  Being gluten free and vegetarian means eating out can be a nightmare.  When we had lunch out last week while on a walk, I asked what I could have that was gluten free and vegetarian and the waitress looked at me as if I was just being awkward for the hell of it.  I then had to ask about each item, she slouched off to the kitchen to ask the chef, and came back with a no it's not GF.  There was no suggestions of what I could eat or offer to adapt a meal so I could eat it.  Even food that should be gluten free if made in the right way isn't because they use things like breadcrumbs and wheat flour to bulk things up and costs them less.  Eating out every now and then used to be a pleasure OH and myself enjoyed, but it's getting to the stage where I don't know why I bother which is sad really. I get treated like a freak.  We went to Italy last year for work and being gluten free was not such a problem as I thought it was going to be. The chefs seemed  knowledgeable about gluten and I even had gluten free fresh pasta and of course polenta.  If they can manage it in Italy, why is it so difficult here?

Living in Cornwall and being gluten free can be very frustrating.  I'm Cornish and can't eat Pasties!!  How unfair is that? I may have my Cornish Passport taken away!  I had to pop into town this morning so the OH asked if I could pick up a pasty.  They are beautiful pasties made locally and there is a veggie option.  The smell was delicious, I could have cried.  But when I got home I went out to the greenhouse and veg patch.  Gathered some spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, spring onions, basil, oregano and lettuce.  Boiled some eggs, threw in sunflower seeds and raisons, grated some carrots and 'riboned' some courgette from the veg box (not from my garden Julee) and added some locally made herb dressing.  Delicious, I did cheer up a bit after eating that, and it was no doubt kinder to my waistline than a pasty.  I'm waiting for a date for an operation to repair the scar from last years op., so I really need to lose weight.  Why does it go on so easily and refuses to budge?

My lovely friend who stayed with me a couple of weeks ago, kindly sent me a book voucher as a thank you.  So this is what I bought, yes I know I don't have an allotment, but one day I may have the space to grow more.  This will be really useful anyway with lots of recipes and ways of storing and preserving.  I probably didn't need another cookery book, but that's another story which I will post about soon.

I'm playing Samba in a carnival later, lets hope it cools down.  I really don't want clips of a Samba player keeling over from the heat to go viral on youtube!

Hope you are enjoying your weekend,

Chickpea xx

Welcome to Tracey on Bloglovin :)

Friday, 25 July 2014

A Flying Visit to Somerset

Our poor little grandson has chicken pox and is covered with spots, so we drove up to Somerset to visit him and try to cheer him up.  He is feeling very sorry for himself, I guess when you are three years old it is hard to understand what is happening.  He was especially upset by having to be dabbed with calamine lotion.  The hot weather isn't helping the itching.   I remember when I had chicken pox as a child and my mum telling me not to scratch, it's so hard not to.  I also remember as a child being sent to stay with any cousins who had any of the usual childhood illnesses so I would catch it.  Mum used to say its better to have it now than when you are an adult.   Do any of you remember being deliberately infected?  Those were the days :)

We walked  to the park with our granddaughter who is chicken pox free, through the beautiful little Somerset village of Hinton St George.  It is full of thatched cottages made with beautiful coloured stone.  I didn't manage to get many pictures as all eyes had to be kept on a very independent little two year old who wanted her back pack on, then off, then hat on, hat off.  Stopping to look at every little thing and reminded to catch hold our hand and stay on the pavement.

We didn't leave until the children were bathed and we read the bedtime stories.  They grow so quickly every moment and memory is precious with them.

Off to bed to try to get some sleep, unlikely in this heat.  The band is playing in another carnival tomorrow so I really need to get more than a couple of hours sleep!

Do you have any plans for the weekend?

Chickpea xx

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Smelling the Roses and Strange Ducks

A couple of times a week I drive past the boating lake in Newquay and have noticed a little rose garden.  After a horrendously hot afternoon in work I decided to stop on the way home and have a look and get some fresh air before tackling the traffic.  Yes the silly season has started in Cornwall.  Wow, what a little gem of a garden!  So many different types of roses, and the smell was wonderful, I wish you could incorporate smell into blogs.  I'm usually more of a wild garden rather than a formal garden type of person, but the colours and variety of the roses were stunning.  The gardeners have done a wonderful job.  If you are ever in Newquay in the summer, take the time to go and smell the roses.

I didn't even know you could get purple roses.

While I was there I took a stroll around the boating lake and came across these little fellas,  I haven't a clue what they are, perhaps Em from Dartmoor Ramblings will know?

Beautiful little bird.

Funniest looking ducks, with huge feet and boy could they move.  This one was heading straight for me, and looked at me as if to say get out of my way or I'll knock you over!

Just love that tuft :)

I hope you have enjoyed the rose garden, do you have a favourite rose?

I re read this post before I hit publish and realised I had typed gobbledegook, I think the hot sleepless nights are getting to me, please excuse any typo's normal service will be resumed as soon as I have stopped melting.   Off to Samba practice tonight, crikey it's going to be so hot, you would think I would be losing pounds in this heat, but no such luck.  All you people in genuinely hot countries must think we are a bunch of whingers over a little heat, but we just aren't used to it.  Oh how I wish we still lived in our old cottage with thick walls and little windows, it stayed lovely and cool in the summer.

Take care everyone,

Chickpea xx