17 November 2012

Smitten with a kitten

It was a normal Sunday, just like any other, when I had a surprise visit from my Mum.  I was just about to leave for evening Church with my Godfather when there was a knock at the door, and in walked my Mum and her friend with a box.  After having closed my eyes as she presented it from behind her, she opened the box to reveal a tiny four legged friend with big round eyes beaming up at me.  It was an 8 week old tabby kitten!

I was hustled out to Church after that fleeting moment of shock and sat through the service as my Mum and friend stayed home to ‘cat-sit’.  It didn’t seem real!  After telling some friends of what had happened only moments before leaving the house, I received some of the most bizarre name suggestions I’d ever heard... some of them rather inappropriate...  I’ll say no more...

He has now been named, Merlin.

He likes to disappear and then magically reappear underneath your feet.  He also has a fascination with pens and likes to bat them around with his tiny paws, it looks like he’s waving a wand.  Well... a little bit...

So I’m smitten with my kitten;
a lovely addition to compose my tiny family, that definitely makes my house more of a home.

24 August 2012

mixtape for moving

To make moving house a more joyful experience, I decided to make a playlist to listen to as I packed and unpacked.  I thought I would share it with you here - perhaps you might enjoy the songs as they are or use them if you move home.  Enjoy!

1. Little Boxes - Walk Off The Earth
2. Pencil Full Of Lead - Paolo Nutini
3. Feels Like Home - Newton Faulkner
4. Middle of the Bed - Lucy Rose
5. Books From Boxes - Maximo Park
6. Drive - Incubus
7. My Doorbell - The White Stripes
8. There Is A Light That Never Goes Out - The Smiths
9. Walk This Way - Aerosmith
10. Home - Gabrielle Aplin
11. Cardboard Boxes - Loudon Wainwright III
12. Comin' Home - City and Colour
13. Grey Room - Damien Rice
14. To Build A Home - The Cinematic Orchestra

21 August 2012

Uprooting the Heart

They say home is where the heart is:
So what happens when you move? 

My silence of late on all my blogs has been down to a rather hectic summer of searching for jobs, and consequently a new place to live.  I was running out of money, running out of time, and running out of patience, when at the last minute the Lord provided me with a job and a home within the space of two days.  Praise God!

If you have ever moved home then you know how stressful it can be!  All the packing, then the cleaning, then stuffing car loads of boxes to all be unloaded and unpacked at the other end.  It took me a whole day to move, and I couldn't have done it without my friends who so kindly laboured alongside me!  I'm still unpacking 3 weeks later...

So aside from changing your address at every single place that you have some sort of membership and informing all your friends and family of where you are, there is a whole other process of convincing yourself of where 'home' is.  I haven't moved very far, I'm still in the same city but have left the lovely village of Beeston behind, but it's still rather strange to settle into a new place.  The roots of my heart have been removed from the familiar soil of my old place, and planted here on a fresh plot for me to adapt to.  

Thankfully I am quick to adapt as I have moved so often, but this isn't the case for everyone.  It comes to mind that Nottingham has a high student population as it is home to two universities and many colleges, students having come from all over the country, all over the world even.  A lot of them will be here for 3 years or more having still not embedded their roots, and I find that strange.  Is it healthy to have a loose heart flitting between different places?  Surely we cannot grow if we don't get stuck in.  I must be careful that I do not verge into idolatry of the home, as comforting as it may be it cannot and should not provide us with all the security we need.  But if we fail to commit ourselves wholeheartedly to the place in which we currently reside, then we are failing to be a true creature of the earth.

The foolish man built his house upon the sand and it came crashing down when a storm came.  He spent little time, little effort, little thought on building his 'home'.  The wise man built his house upon the rocks, and it stood firm against such tribulations.  He spent time, effort, thought, and built his home sturdily with great purpose and great investment.  If love is our intention, and we give our heart to our 'home', then we can remain safe and strong wherever we bury our roots, flourishing amidst the nourishment of a community.  

We were made to nest.
It's about time 'community' had it's revival.
Root the heart - for home is where the heart is.

25 May 2012

Cranberry & Cheddar Salad

Mixed salad leaves
Thinly sliced good quality cheddar cheese
Dried cranberries
Extra virgin olive oil
Cracked black pepper
Pinch of sea salt

A delicious summer salad that I like to accompany with
my homemade ice-tea or a nice cold bottle of ginger beer!

24 May 2012

Homemade Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce


50g red chillies
100g raisins or sultanas
3/4 cup sugar
(I use rapadura sugar as the purest form of sugar, delicious!)
1 cup white wine vinegar
1-2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt

How to make:
  • Chop the chillies, raisins and garlic cloves.
    (It doesn't have to be perfect as they you will blend them into a paste later.)
  • Blend together the chillies and half of the white wine vinegar.
  • Add this mixture to the other ingredients in a pan and place on a low heat.
  • Keep stirring the mixture, bring to the boil and then let it simmer for 15-20 mins.
    (chillies and raisins should be soft)
  • Leave the mixture to cool.
  • When cool, blend the mixture until it reaches a paste-like texture.
  • Dispense the paste into a bottle or jar (sealable) and stoor in the fridge to keep it fresh.
  • Works well as a salad dressing or snack dip, and is delicious as a burger relish or meat marinade!

26 March 2012

Citrus & Ginger Earl Grey Ice Tea


4 Earl Grey tea bags
1 Orange
1 Lemon
1 Lime
1 bottle Ginger ale
4 tablespoons brown sugar

How to make:
  • Put the four teabags in a mug and fill with boiling water. 
    Leave to brew for 4-5mins.
    (You can use plain teabags but the bergamot in the Earl Grey is a delicious touch)
  • Remove teabags and add the sugar before placing the mug of tea to cool in the fridge.
  • Chop fruit into chunky pieces and place in the jug with plenty of ice cubes.
  • When the tea has cooled (you can speed up this process by adding cold water to the mixture) add it to the jug.
  • Then add the ginger ale to fill the jug (you can also use lemonade if you don't like ginger, but it gives the tea a real good kick).
  • Stir the mixture well, making sure the juices are extracted from the fruit.
  • Pour and enjoy on a lovely sunny day out in the garden!
    It' nice if you put a piece of fruit in your glass with some ice to keep it fresh.
  • If you make a large jug, you can easily bottle your tea and store it in the fridge to drink later.

25 March 2012

Why is a raven like a writing desk?

As my last post was about receiving letters, I thought I'd continue on that theme and post about writing letters.  My favourite place to write letters is probably in the garden on a sunny day, or at my cemetery where I sit to think.  During the winter I prefer to write in a coffee or tea shop at a table in the corner (the letter in my last post was written in a coffee shop, so I suppose it's a common pleasure for most letter writers).  It seems more practical however to write letters at home, but I have no where to sit and write.  My desk is always cluttered with work, the kitchen table is always covered in bits of food and my bed is... well I go into sleep mode if I even look at my bed! 

Then I found this at a charity shop in Beeston...

It was on sale for a mere £15.  I looked over it carefully and it had quite a few scratches, and an elderly woman passing by interrupted me with remark of 'don't buy that dear, you'll only regret it later, you'll never get those scratches out'.  I respected her opinion as a wiser lady, and decided to go away and think about it.  That night I travelled to Birmingham to visit my grandma, and after talking to her she said I should go for it.  I called my boyfriend back in Nottingham and as he so kindly went to look over it for me, he found that it had been further reduced to £10! How could I resist!

Sadly, he returned later to buy this beautiful bureau for me and it was gone.  Grandma had even given me some old scratch polish she'd found in the garage to clean it up, and I became excited for the restoration project.  I returned home disappointed.  I learnt my lesson: if I ever find a gem such as this I have to swoop in and grab it!  At least now I know what I'm looking for to complete my writing experience at home.  For now, my café's will have to do!

23 March 2012

From one home to another...

This morning I was carrying my breakfast tray from the kitchen up to my room, and I almost went flying on some letters that had been posted through the door.  Most of them were for people who don't even live here any more (we get that a lot in a student house), but amongst them I found a little one addressed to me in pretty handwriting.  I was so excited!  I patiently ate my cereal and poured my coffee before opening it up and enjoying it's contents.  It was from Jenna, my penpal in Cornwall.  I wasn't expecting anything (it was actually my turn to write), but she saw this beautifully crafted card with hand knitted fish on the front, thought of me, and sent it on with an update on her life.

I love receiving letters in the post, it gives you a real buzz, a sense of warmth and love that you don't really get through double clicking on an email in your inbox.  A letter through the letter box makes me feel at home.  It is another thing that makes a house a home.  I can't help but feel that people need to rediscover the art of letter writing.

19 March 2012

Eating in Nottingham

Crocus Café - Lenton
Le Bistrot Pierre - Nottingham
Belle & Jerome - Beeston

About Me

My photo
I was born and grew up in the city of Wolverhampton where I went to school and studied A-Levels. I lived in Walsall for the two years of my life before coming to university in Nottingham where I now live. I graduated in Summer 2012 with a degree in Theology, and currently study an MA in Systematic & Philosophical Theology. I enjoy contemporary dance, travelling, literature, live music, being a connoisseur of hot beverages and liberating the oppressed. I have written for 'The Mic' magazine and held the position of Editor for the Women's Network magazine, 'Artemis'. I wouldn't be anything without my God, the beautiful author of life. Any feedback on my blogs is much appreciated.