Life's Cup of Tea

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Book Review: Recipe for Life

Hand up, I have never read an autobiography before in my life. It usually takes a lot for me to get into a book. Either it has to be so easy going (tacky chicklit) that I barely have to focus on it or it has to be thrilling. Page turning. Gripping. I suppose I never would class an autobiography as any of those, nor is there anyone I am interested enough in to spend that amount of time reading about them.

Then, I was gifted Mary Berry's autobiography, A recipe for life, for Christmas by my Aunt.

I have liked Mary for a while, owning a few recipe books of hers and being an avid fan of The Bake Off so was actually quite up for it! Mary, being quite a lot more ... mature ... than I ever thought (that woman looks positivly youthful!) means that she has lived through an awful lot which were all fascinating to read about from her hand, in her book: life in world war 2; catching polio at a young age and the months she spent recovering; and sadly, the loss of her middle child. But most interesting for me was reading how Mary go to where she is today. Just how do you become a cake judge on one of the most loved television programmes in the UK? With a lot of hard work and dedication it turns out.

The book is beautifully written, intertwining the story of Mary's life with her thoughts, opinions and beliefs on social, old and modern issues. As she takes us through her life from cradle to bake off tent, she shares her personal photos in colour and black and white which are a delightful addition. At the end of the chapter, as one would expect from a kitchen queen, are some of Mary's own recipes which I will definitely be trying out!

I have really enjoyed this book and this genre. Thank you Mary! Question is: who next? Have you read any good autobiographies that I should try?


Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Life: A long summer ahead

Finally, it's the Summer Holidays! After a long year of teacher training and teaching full time I am pooped. Totally pooped. I'm not going to lie to you for one second, but the thought of 4 weeks of nothingness after a year of manicness has filled me with a little bit of panic. I am very much someone who can lie around and nap all day (which I fully intend to do in the first week just to recover!) if I let myself and always feel super icky afterwards. I am also very much someone who loves a good list. So I've put two and two together and figured that a summer list would be  a fairly good idea:

  • Take an online photography course 
I have 2 fairly snazzy cameras from when I was earning the big bucks but have absolutely no idea how to use them properly and always use the automatic setting - which I am aware is a total cop out. I would love to be able to go out an about and take some fantastic shot. 
  • Couch to 5k
Fitness. Urgh. I am the unfittest person ever. Exercise is such a big element to well-being (of which mine has taken a massive hit this year) but I have never ever got into it. And I need to. I am so lucky to live on the coast and have just moved within a 10 minute walk of the seafront so I really want to be able to make the most of that this year.

  • Get on top of my Ladmin
Ladmin = Life ADMIN. The pains of being an adult and the jobs that just don't get done when I am working all hours. The tax, the insurance, the eye tests. Blah Blah Blah. But it's all stress that I hope to rid of by September .

  • Get back on the blogging train
I have missed blogging. I have missed the little bubble you can create and I miss the community. The truth is, I have been too exhausted to even think about it this year. It can be quite isolating being an adult in a new location and I really hope that by falling back in love with my blog, it will open up some channels again.

  • Read. Read. Read.
I haven't read a whole book in what feels like forever because, you guessed it, no time. I am so excited about just sitting for an afternoon with a good brew and just reading. Also, I have a terrible habit of just buying books without getting round to reading them so my pile is quite high!


Sunday, 14 May 2017

Silent Sunday #1

Compton Bay - Isle of Wight 

Monday, 1 May 2017

Life: Life Lately

Life has been a little akin to a roller coaster lately. There have been high days, low days, normal days, upside down days and days of constant loop-de-loops. Being back in the classroom after a two week break (which mainly consisted of assignment writing) is definitely a shock to the system! Over Easter I was able at certain points to really switch off, grab a book and just chill out - something I have't been able to do for months!

Currently I am...

Reading: Sainsburys has become my new favourite place to go book shopping. They have some of the best sellers for pretty decent prices! The book of the moment for me is This Love by Dani Atkins. I love a good romance novel and this one has got enough twists to make it much more than just another romcom. I have already shed a tear or 2 and imagine some more may be wept before I get to the last page!

Watching: In between The Island and my guilty pleasure of Made in Chelsea, there really isn't a lot of time to watch anything else.

Listening to: With my childhood idols, Steps, releasing their latest album, I've been right back in the 90s. My class have really developed a love for the pianist Yiruma this month, so I have been spending most of my working day with the tinkle of Piano keys in the background. I've also been listening to some podcasts on BBC radio 4 while I've been driving. I really enjoyed the Deadpan omnibus, a murder mystery set in a posh restaurant and the perfect way to while away time on the motorway.

Eating: After a failed attempt at making some fudge at the weekend, I have been happily scooping the sticky mess out of the bowl to snack on. Sugar, sugar, sugar.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Life: A hop across the road

Today for the first time in a very long time, I walked across the road, 30 seconds down the lane and down the pier on the other side of that road. I've lived here for almost 5 months, and it has taken me until now to walk that 30 seconds and into what felt like a totally different place than my little house. Isn't it strange? I've been all over the island, I'm desperate to get off whenever I can, yet I still hadn't been to this quiet little spot so close to home!

There is something magical about living so close to the sea. I love the clanging of the ships masts from my window, the sound of the seagulls (real seagulls not the pests that live miles inland and eat all the delights from my rubbish bin) and the smell. Not too chipper about the constant layer of salt that seems to cover my car!

I need to make a conscious effort to get out and about more locally. Seeing as my chances of going abroad this year are pretty slim, I'm going to celebrate staycationing. All thanks to a trip across the road!

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Travel : A year in wanderlust

Sat here in cold, wet blightly with the horrific realisation that now my travel dreams are going to have to take place in the uber-expensive school holidays, I realise just how lucky I have been this year in getting out and about in the world. It's been no Australia or Belize as in previous years but oh my, it has been a good un!

Romantic Oslo Weekend | My Christmas present from The Man was a weekend in Oslo! Fabulous! I was not expecting it all and it was one of the most amazing trips ever. The temperature peaked on our last day to around -10C, so I was super appreciative of my new snow boots and thermal tops and leggings! It was so cold that my breath was freezing to my hair, but it was so cold, we almost didn't really feel that cold if that makes sense? All the snow made the city look beautiful and magical and I fell even more in love with Scandanavia.

New York City Break | This was a long weekend trip with the famalam. I was supposed to head on up to Washington DC after NYC, but my new job meant I had to jet home quickly. New York was as magical as I had imagined: the lights, the shops, the food (definitely came back a good few pounds weightier). NYC was a wonderful introduction into the good old USA - a place I can't wait to get to know a little better. 

Mediterranean Backpacking |  I had a month free between jobs so decided to pack up my trusty pack once more and head to South France and into Italy (which despite my love for the food, I have never been to) taking in Monaco, Vatican and San Marino en-route. This was the longest I have ever travelled totally alone for and there were periods of loneliness, but I am not going to lie, I loved having me time! I loved eating crepes for breakfast, lunch AND dinner one day. And I loved not being judged having Carbonara for the 3rd evening running. Despite my previous angst at eating alone, by the end of the trip I was spending well over an hour alone with a book and glass of wine in hand just watching the world go by.