Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Things I Miss About Ireland

So almost exactly 2 weeks ago, I boarded a plane and moved to the North West of England. My boyfriend had started work in August and it was time for me to join him. It wasn’t an easy decision to make. Well, I suppose it was, because living with him is a no brainer and a fresh start will do me good in terms of getting a job. It was hard to leave my family and friends behind though. This year has been tough. This time last year I wrote a post about my Dad’s cancer returning (you can read it here) and then at the beginning of February, my Mom became sick too after she had a heart attack. So I’ve become very attached to helping my family but it really was time to leave.

I’ve put off writing a blog post for so long, mainly because I was busy packing after my last post and since moving I’ve either had no internet or just too heavy hearted to write something. But it’ll do me good and then I can concentrate on some good points too!

Here’s what I miss so far:

- Having this as the view from my front door

front door

-My family. Sure, they drive me NUTS at times. But I miss joking with my youngest brother and how he’s a prawn (rhymes with his name), talking about nail varnish and baking with my youngest sister, my aunt and her dog Lucy, my Dad’s laugh, my Mum’s wisdom, laughing and joking with my other siblings. Not to even mention my extended family and boyfriend’s family too!

-Actually having friends close by. I know I’ll make friends here but I’ll miss being able to meet up for a coffee, going out at night, or maybe just staying in instead, playing board games and having a few drinks. I miss all the history, stories and in jokes I have with my friends and how mentioning just something that seems small or silly can have us cracking up. Like Business 101, Peter’s Journey or the adventures of Chrissy, things like this that only mean something to friends. I stayed at a friend’s house a few weeks before I moved and we spent most the night listening to old Britney tracks and laughing.

-Having people know my name when I walk into a shop and know who I am. It can be a pain living in a small town where everyone knows your name but at the same time I love it.

-Animals and green fields


-The library and chatting to my librarian. She even said before I left that she’ll miss seeing the random things I order.

-Driving. I’m not sure when I’ll get a car over here or if I will get one, but I do miss zipping around with Betty, my Polo.

-Shit like this happening


-Sitting next to an open fire. No fireplace in the house I’m in now and they are so cozy for winter.

-Hearing Irish accents and Irish slang



Ya look, I know it’s a bit of a cliché for us Irish expats but for real. I have had a big craving for some Tayto and while it’s great that I’ve found a Tesco close by that sells some Irish essentials, the Tayto that they stock is the Northern Irish Tayto! Sad smile

Look, I could go on but I won’t. There will be a post in a few days about the things I’ve enjoying about being in UK in the interest of fairness!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

October Reads

October was a very quiet month for reading, disgracefully so compared to other months!

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
Clockwork Princess
Once I finished The Cuckoo’s Calling at the end of September, I didn’t pick up a book until I got this from the library on 9th. Well, I lie, I did start other books but I just didn’t have the time to read and was very distracted. However, this came in unexpectedly from the library for me (I had requested they buy it as they had the first 2 books but a few months had passed and it was taking forever to be delivered so I had given up hope!). This is the final instalment of The Infernal Devices and was it worth the wait? Yes it was! I really enjoyed it, it did seem like a satisfying end to the series. I think if it had been edited just slightly I would have loved it, some of it did seem to drag just a tiny bit, not as much as other series though which is definitely good. Check out book one and book two.

Walk The Lines: The London Underground, Overground by Mark Mason
walk the lines
I have wanted to read this book for about 2 years, ever since it was published. I thought my Mum would get it, as it seems like her kind of thing, so I never got around to buying it myself. Eventually, I once again requested the library buy it and this also landed itself in the library for me without warning, I didn’t think they were going to buy it. Again, was it worth the wait? Yes! I loved it. First off I love the whole idea of walking the lines of the Underground overground, a great piece of stunt journalism which is something I love. I also love the Underground, I find it fascinating so it’s great to find out some history and titbits I hadn’t heard before. Lastly it was also interesting to hear about areas that you’d seen on the Underground maps but had no idea about. I’ll probably buy myself a copy of this I loved it so much!

Joyland by Stephen King
My second ever King book! I wanted to read something with a bit of horror or spookiness in it around Halloween. After finishing The Cuckoo’s Calling I wanted another mystery story and so I decided on this. Set in 1973, main character 21 year old college student Devin Jones gets a summer job at a North Carolina amusement park. Here he learns that a few years before of a girl was murdered on the site and the killer had never been found. Devin is intrigued about this story and finds it on his mind more and more. I had expected the story to have a bit more suspense and twists and focus a lot on the killer and the mystery. Especially with that cover! And while it does, the story is actually more a nostalgia novel. The story is told by a real time Devin, looking back on this summer and remembering this job, the friends made, the people who touched his life and trying to get over his first heartbreak. It was a very sweet story actually and I enjoyed it for what it was. Part nostalgia, part mystery. The mystery does get solved and so there is a big lead up to that but if you’re looking for a proper crime or mystery novel this isn’t really it.
October Stats

Number of Books Read- 3

Ratio Fiction to non-fiction- 2:1

Books borrowed from library: 3

Number of eBooks: 0

Number of books from Reading Resolutions: 0

And that’s it. Yes, pathetic really! I am in the middle of another book, if I had stepped it up a bit I might have finished it on time but I didn’t. I think once that’s done, I’m going to start the new Malcolm Gladwell that I showed in this post, I’m really looking forward it!
January’s Reads
February’s Reads
March Reads
April’s Reads
May’s Reads
June’s Reads
July’s Reads
August’s Reads
September Reads

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween Treats

1st November! I would say I can’t believe it’s already November but this Michael McIntrye video sums up why I don’t want to say it. I didn’t get up to much yesterday for Halloween, I made some treats for my younger siblings, so I thought I’d show some of them here!

Eyeball Monster Cookies



I got the inspiration from this yoyomax12 video but used the recipe in this Todd’s Kitchen video. I made the dough, baked the cookies and once they were out of the oven, I pressed white chocolate buttons into them. Because the cookies are still warm, the white chocolate will melt but if you leave them for a few hours, the chocolate will set as the cookie cools. I used a red food marker to draw on the eyes, except for the one in the second picture, I used a tube of red gel food dye just see how it would turn out. I think using icing would work just as well for the details.

Rotten Egg Cookies



Same cookie dough as above, but instead I used mini Cadbury’s Screme Eggs (Creme Eggs but with a green inside).

Chocolate Orange Hidden Bat Cake


DSC08137 DSC08138

So this was a bit hit and miss. I made an orange yoghurt cake in the small bread tin. Once it had cooled, I cut it into slices and used a cookie cooker to cut out bat shapes out of the cake. I then made a second yoghurt cake, this time chocolate with some black food dye added to make it darker. I spoon a small, even layer along the bottom of the same bread tin, placed the bat shaped cake slices on top of the batter and then spooned the remaining batter on top and  baked. For the orange icing, I made a cream cheese frosting with the zest of an orange and the juice of half an orange and dyed it orange. I dripped it over the bake and topped with some chocolate sprinkles. When I cut in, I saw the bat had kinda worked. I think you need something that’s either straight or rounded along the bottom, the fact that it was zigzagged and uneven probably made it harder to balance.

Jelly Brains in Jars



I got the idea for this from this mycupcakeaddiction video. I had the brain ice cube tray from last year (used them for cake pops). I liked how they turned out but my mother wasn’t very impressed!

And that was it for this year! I always lovely trying out new ideas for Halloween. I got a skull cake pan from Aldi and was going try a really colours Sugar Skull cake but never got around to it. Always next year!

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