Friday, 17 April 2015

Defiance Bike Ride


I've been riding to work for nearly a year now -- through rain, sleet, hail (painful!), frost, wind, and occasionally sunshine -- but have never done a longer ride.  Few weeks ago I did 30 miles as part of the Defiance Cycle Ride and am pleased to report that my legs didn't ache afterwards at all -- a year ago that would have been unthinkable!  So a big thank you again to all the residents of Amsterdam who inspired me to get on my bike...!

Am going down to Cyclopaedia tomorrow to get some work done on my bike so my ride into work on Monday should be better than ever...

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Controlling the Mind

"People say: 'One can't help one's thoughts.' But one can.  The control of the thinking machine is perfectly possible.  And since nothing whatever happens to us outside our own brain; since nothing hurts us or gives us pleasure except within the brain the supreme importance of being able to control what goes on in that mysterious brain is patent.  This idea is one of the oldest platitudes, but is it is a platitude whose profound truth and urgency most people live and die without realising.  People complain of the lack of power to concentrate, not witting that they may acquire the power, if they choose.

"And without the power to concentrate -- that is to say, without the power to dictate to the brain its task and to ensure obedience -- true life is impossible.  Mind control is the first element of a full existence.

"Hence, it seems to me, the first business of the day should be to put the mind through its paces.  You look after your body, inside and out; you run grave danger in hacking hairs off your skin; you employ a whole army of individuals, from the milkman to the pig-killer, to enable you to bribe your stomach into decent behaviour.  Why not devote a little attention to the far more delicate machinery of the mind, especially as you will require no extraneous aid?  It is for this portion of the art and craft of living that I have reserved the time from the moment of quitting your door to the moment of arriving at your office.

"'What? I am to cultivate my mind in the street, on the platform, in the train, and in the crowded street again?'  Precisely.  Nothing simpler!  No tools required!  Not even a book.  Nevertheless, the affair is not easy.

"When you leave your house, concentrate your mind on a subject (no matter what, to begin with).  You will not have gone ten yards before your mind has skipped away under your very eyes and is larking round the corner with another subject.

"Bring it back by the scruff of the neck.  Ere you have reached the station you will have brought it back about forty times.  Do not despair.  Continue.  Keep it up.  You will succeed.  You cannot by any chance fail if you persevere."

Bennett, A. (1959). Controlling the Mind. In How to live on 24 hours a day (pp. 54-56). Kingswood, Surrey: World's Work.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Be happy, it's Adar!

I made these with wholemeal flour this year instead of white, and there is so much fat in them that they are still ridiculously indulgent, but you end up eating them four at a time rather than six at a time, so...  :)


This is something that I salvaged from the photography department at Tisch School of the Arts when I took Dave there in August 2013 to see where I'd grown up -- and I was horrified to see it in a skip -- so Dave had this lovely wooden box made for it for me for Valentine's Day, and then he fitted it out with a bulb this morning....  Happy!


And thank god it's not the '70s any more!  :)


Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Bar Mitts

Just realised that I never reported back about the bar mitts -- so for all those of you waiting with baited breath (which is probably nobody...) they are brilliant.  I wear them with just a pair of thin Merino wool glove liners underneath, and they have kept my hands from feeling pain through -4C starts...  My old motorcycle gloves have now gone to the charity shop...!

AND, failed to take a picture of this, but I dried my sheets on the line outside today, which must mean, despite there being ice on the line when I first put them out this morning, that spring is on the way!  Yippee!

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Sunset

The view out the bathroom window as I was sorting the laundry earlier:

Monday, 2 February 2015

More winter salads

Haven't quite got where I want to be with it totally yet, but my mayonnaise is improving...


And I then used it to make this version of a heartier celeriac remoulade with hard boiled eggs...



Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Brawn

From this:


To this:


Yummy!  :)

I want to make a piece of jewellery or something out of this tag -- any ideas anybody?