51. There’s no business like snow business!

So it’s snowing again, this time in flippin’ March!

It was a novelty a few weeks ago wasn’t it? A final swansong to winter, or so we thought! Aside from the unpleasant aspects of this particular kind of precipitation – the treacherous roads and dangers to the most vulnerable in society – much of the country got involved and we all made an effort with constructing snowmen and tobogganing on almost anything that wouldn’t defy gravity. We over zealous bobble-hatted, snow-booted enthusiasts happily quaffed hot chocolate like it was going out of fashion! Children the length and breadth of the country were snow angelling in celebration at all the school closures whilst *uploading 10,000 snow-related selfies per minute!

Marvelous, the first time!

Here we are again!

Snow In March Part 2: The Revenge….just when you thought it was safe to leave the log cabin…..(in a cinema near you, rated no stars).

Boring!

Seriously, snow is only really cool when holidaying in the Alps while drinking coffee/eating french fries on an alpine restaurant terrace perhaps after an exhilarating morning of off-piste skiing. If you’re here in Blighty trying to get to work or school then you may just be piste-off and snow is in fact just a bit sh!t, even the areas that aren’t suspect yellow or poo brown.

And what about the Spring Daffodils? Even these – the most dedicated of cheerful flowers (registered trademark) have had e-bloody-nough! 

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Here in my little corner of the world – that’ll be a tiny village in Devon which is located on a big hill and gets cut off after three flakes of snow (omg, the roads are impassable, we’ll have to trap a deer in the woods or eat our much-loved pet). I’ve decided that I won’t be giving the snow the attention it craves on this occasion and I’m going to cheer us all up by talking about the kind of snow that we’d actually be thrilled to see in bastard March:-

John Snow

Surely no explanation required Game of Thrones fans! A very acceptable and some would say phwoar kind of snow which doesn’t cause road closures!!

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(Photo: Twitter.com)

Snowball

The cocktail obvs! Have a root round in your Gran’s drinks sideboard in the front room and see if you can find some Advocaat (**probably went out of date October 2014). Mix with some lime juice and the same amount of lemonade, shake it up in a James Bond stylee (snowsuit from skiing scene in For Your Eyes Only optional) and voila, enjoy!  A healthy cocktail (ok, just the lime part) with snow in it which doesn’t cause school/college/university/work closures.

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  (Photo: the007dossier.com)

Snow Patrol

Stuck in-ruddy-doors (yes, you’re snowed in again?) Pop on a bit of Chasing Cars by this cool snow themed band and there you go – another form of acceptable snow which won’t stop the nation’s amazing NHS staff getting to work.

Are there any snows that you prefer? Share the snow love and let me know in comments!

Stay safe out there!

As you were!

*yup, I probably made that up….

** I’m not saying your Gran’s skanky….

50. The food of love?

February! The month of love right? It’s time for Valentine’s Day and Cupid’s Arrow or as my 8-year-old daughter calls it “Cute pig’s arrow,” and if it’s that one hurtling your way – you might want to duck.

So how will you show your love this month, will it be flowers? chocolates? A dinner date? Personally, I’m not mad keen on being given flowers – I’m ungrateful like that and I’m also a little bit off sugar at the moment and therefore a whole box of Milk Tray would be a bit de trop.

I’m more of a fan of giving and receiving little thoughtful gestures throughout the year which is super handy because………..

Ted, the attentive husband that he is, purchased something for me which made me feel, loved, adored and cherished! Yes, out of the blue he bought me a packet of #crumpets!

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Bear with……..

Ted, who knows I’m a lover of all things High Tea had me at crumpets (anyway) but these weren’t some pappy low rent ordinary crumpets (made with the flour swept off the factory floor) No Siree Bob. My considerate husband had only gone and bought me these bad boys to try!

Marks and Spencer’s 6 Ultimate Five Grain Crumpets! In bold and underlined as they deserve!

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They are like the Gwyneth Paltrow of crumpets, fresh, glowing and possibly quite self-satisfied with a particular bias towards healthy living.

Because I’m not a selfish person I’m going to talk you through my Ultimate Five Grain Crumpet *experience (Be alerted; this is not a review!!!)

1. I popped the crumpet into the toaster. I like to turn up my toaster for crumpets and then completely forget I’ve done that and consequently burn the toast/house down the next morning. But it’s worth it because it’s always important to adequately toast a crumpet or suffer the consequences. No one wants a tepid and flaccid one. You’re looking for a crunch as you bite down and then a spongy melted butter laden interior. Ok?

2. I buttered the crumpet immediately, but not before burning my fingertips during the removal thereof from the toaster. Make sure the butter goes down the holes and perforations of said crumpet. Thems the rules.

3. I applied my topping of choice. I went with a modest layer of, some might say safe but in my opinion trusty strawberry jam.  I have listed below what is and isn’t acceptable with regards to toppings, please take note.

4. I bit into the crumpet, the shell was crisp and delightful and the centre a yummy gooey 5-grainey fluffy slightly wholemealy experience. It’s not for everyone – I’ll be honest,  those who like a more traditional-recipe crumpet might possibly be offended. However, I was not and will be happy to add this particular crumpet to my high tea repertoire with pleasure.

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So how do you eat yours?

Unacceptable toppings

I’m personally not happy with marmite or cheese or any other savoury toppings? In my opinion, that’s just unsavoury!

Acceptable Toppings

Butter, jam, marmalade, lemon curd, honey, chocolate spread. You know I’m right, don’t even argue with me.

If you are living somewhere where you do not have access to crumpets should you want access to crumpets then I’m sorry for your loss. Try making some. **Good luck with that.

All the decent Crumpets, In bold and underlined as they deserve!

Thing is, I haven’t tried all the decent crumpets from all the leading supermarkets because:

a, I’m not that helpful.

b, Well, it’s just my opinion and crumpet texture and taste, much like deliberations over fine art, are subjective.

c, You might not want me telling you which crumpets to eat. Perhaps you’ve been chowing down on Warburtons for years and you’re sticking with them, right?

Interesting bit of etymology regarding crumpets.

The crumpet is a food which originates from Anglo Saxon England, first referenced in 1382 when they were called Crompid Cakes – and they say we’re not a culture of gourmets!!!!

As you were!

PS, Have you given or been given any unusual, or thoughtful Valentine’s gifts?  Pop them in comments…..

PPS, Turning Up In Devon Blog turns two years old at the end of February…..hip hip hooray and an overly exuberant, while no one’s looking, chair dance of celebration!!!

*not a review of Marks and Spencer’s Ultimate 5 grain crumpets.  Try one and see what you think for yourself. You are, after all, entitled to your own opinion!

**Risky! Very difficult to make so they may well be a bit #sh!t

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49. Mother’s gone to Iceland

Are you thinking of visiting Iceland? No? Ok, it was a bit of a long shot and this post may feel a bit niche but bear with. I don’t knowingly do helpful travel post jobbies but if you do have a vague interest in Iceland; perhaps you saw a promotional Ad campaign in 2009 and thought you might fancy it one day, or your Boss at work said she really enjoyed her romantic weekend stay in Reykjavik then you might – you just might enjoy this post. But I’m not going to bet my next mini break to a European city on it.

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So anyhoo, we had an occasion slash excuse to visit this mystical, mythological and Nordic land of ice because it was my Mother’s birthday – a big one, without giving too much away – it had a 7 and a 0 in it. Well, anyway, yonks ago she mentioned she wanted to see the Northern Lights…..

“Mum, I’m taking you to Iceland.”

“What? I haven’t shopped there since your father took an aversion to prawns! You know I prefer to go to the Adles!” (that’s Aldi and Lidl to the likes of you and me).

“No, real-life Iceland – we’re going for your big Birthday!”

” But I fancy Barbados!”

“It’s already booked.”

 “Darn,” muttered audibly.

So we left our little Devon village and the pre-Xmas conveyor belt of daftness behind and boarded a big orange bird which whizzed us away (badly squished knees as standard) to Reykjavik! Our short break to Iceland was in mid-December when the sun rises at about 11:20 and sets approx 3:20pm. However the light is such that it feels like it never really rises properly (well duh, because it doesn’t!) – this is beautiful, eerie, captivating even but also a bit well, #dark. If you suffer from SAD you will return to the UK positively brimming with gratitude for the seemingly abundant daylight hours on offer in winter Blighty. You’ll never whinge about ‘the nights drawing in’ again. Fact.

Consequently, the diminished daylight and snow everywhere makes it feel like it’s constantly Apres Ski time! Any ski lovers out there will know that this is lazy downtime when all you want to do is eat cake and drink hot chocolate/mulled wine and then have a little nap/bath before dinner and then all the alcohol! Therefore, I wandered around in a state of wanton cake withdrawal plus a desperate craving for Gluhwein at inauspicious moments!

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Places we visited:

Thermal Hot Pools: relax in geothermal waters and enjoy the romantic half light (because frankly, that’s the only lighting option in Dec). Just don’t go near the hot inlets because they’re proper boiling #likealobster! http://secretlagoon.is

The Golden Circle, no not a sadistic syndicate of James Bond baddies but a tour taking in several outstanding places such as Gullifoss Waterfall, the Geysirs and Geo-Thermal Pools.

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Geysir, spurting Geysers – don’t blink because there’s no foreplay, just the spurt!

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The Ice Cave at Perlan Centre Reykjavik. Much like U.S/North Korean relations, the atmos is pretty frosty here – a frigid minus 15 degrees inside the manmade cave of ice. https://www.perlanmuseum.is/en/

A Northern lights tour. Obvs. Weather conditions permitting?

Failing that, Aurora Reykjavik: The Northern Lights Centre. For all your ‘I’ve disappointedly missed out on seeing the real northern lights due to adverse weather conditions and I’m going home tomorrow’ needs! The staff **probably receive regular staff training updates in dealing with severe disappointment! http://aurorareykjavik.is

When we saw the Northern lights………

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at, yes you guessed it – The Northern Lights Centre!

What to take:

All your money. It’s pricey! e.g, a coffee – about a fiver. A sandwich – about a tenner. A coffee, sandwich and a large cookie – about twenty pounds apart from the currency is Icelandic Krona obvs.

All your muffs: it’s chilly so – ear muffs, neck muff, hand muffs – or gloves for ease of digit movement and if you don’t want to look like Lara from the film Dr Zhivago.

All your food. It’ll save you a *fortune!

*May hamper your chances of trying authentic Icelandic food.

Things to try!

Hakarl – Icelandic fermented shark, or dried Cod (like fish jerky) – don’t take your nose. Best consumed when inebriated on local Schnapps appaz!

Lamb soup it’s la specialite de la region.

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Petting a pure breed Icelandic Horse which looks suspiciously like a pony because it is the size of a pony but it’s not a pony because it’s a horse apart from it looks to all intents and purposes like a pony. To avoid offense, play along with the popular Icelandic game Don’t Call It A Pony! When in Rome etc.

Things I learned in Iceland!

That it is indeed really really icy. Whoever named this Country was not being at all ironic.

That Icelandic people have a great sense of humour and they also have over 30 words for snow. It got me wondering how many we have?

Snow, sleet, sludge, powder, piste (borrowed from France) so about 5 then, not including all the swears we use to describe the white stuff!

That it’s a very beautiful magical place, spesh the areas where they filmed all the famous TV shows!

That when chatting with all the Taxi drivers and Tour guides- they all know all the actors from Fortitude and Game of Thrones. 

Consequently – a redundant google translate that we were never able to make use of.

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Have you been to beautiful Iceland? What did you discover? Pop it in comments!

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**probably

 

48. Fave Festive Songs!

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Here in the village it was finally time to get festive. So last weekend, with a roaring log fire to keep us warm, we set about decorating our Christmas tree. In time honoured tradition we wanted to undertake this task with jolly festive music to both set the scene and inspire the creativity and efficacy of said decking. So I asked our lovely Amazon Alexa to furnish us with some Christmas tunes and she duly obliged with All I want for Christmas is you……….but (and get this right) sung by Michael Buble. It was a hashtag Alexa fail for sure but this one was of perhaps arguably epic and unforgiveable proportions! Michael Buble may have trademarked Christmas and there are unconfirmed reports that he is changing his name to Michael ‘Bauble’ but I’m not having All I want for Christmas is you sung by anyone other than her royal festive highness Mariah Carey. I was so shocked and derailed that I had to perch awhile on a kitchen stool to quaff a large cooking sherry while Alexa sorted her sh!t out and finally got Mariah’s original blasting over the sound waves!

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Lovely Amazon Alexa!

BTW, All I want for Christmas is you by Mariah Carey and Last christmas by Wham are the best ever Christmas songs and don’t even argue with me.

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Anyhoo, it got me thinking about some of the nation’s other favourite (not as good though) Christmas songs…………..

Driving home for Christmas sung by Chris Rea. This song has never actually been heard on a real life car journey when it would be most needed, but you’ll hear it in every other situation. Top to toe in tailbacks, oh I got red lights on the run” (no, I’m selling mince pies at the School Christmas Bazaar under the frosty glower of the PTFA Chairman). “I’m driving home for Christmas, oh I can’t wait to see their faces” (no, I’m taking in my neigbour’s third bastard Amazon package today!). “I take a look at the driver next to me, he’s just the same,” (no, I’m now having to resort to sticking the gingerbread house together with PVA glue). This song deserves, by the very virtue of it’s subject matter, a proper pre-Christmas-car-journey-in-horrendous-traffic situation.

Santa Baby covered by Kylie. A song as gooey and sweet as melted advent chocolate! For this one you will need: a large Baileys on ice, the central heating turned up (or a lively log fire), the kids in bed and a just opened box of Thorntons – that one you’ve been saving for Christmas guests but now give zero f*cks about sharing.

Let it Snow sung by Dean Martin. A dreamy vintage tune best played when the whole family congregates around the dining table. A pleasant reminder of halcyon days gone by when people didn’t eat their christmas meal in a sparkly Rudolph onesie whilst posting a pic of their turkey dinner on Insta!

Fairytale of New York sung by The Pogues. A very popular and useful song particularly at office Christmas parties because even if you are paralytically p!ssed you will still sound infinitely less drunk than the original when you end up ‘singing’ it with the karaoke machine.

Merry Christmas Everyone sung by Shakin’ Stevens. This is a great festive tune to deploy for motivational purposes when wrapping a mountain of presents and really you’d rather slice off your own thumbs with an electric carving knife than wrap another sodding gift!

Away in a manger sung by small children the length and breadth of the country. A belter of a carol! You’ll either need a heart of quick setting concrete encased in reinforced titanium or indeed a handy pocket sized packet of tissues to get through this one. Sniff!

#everyotherchristmassong sung by Michael Bauble. Holly Jolly Christmas gets a thumbs up from me (because my electric carving knife doesn’t work)!! Enjoy!

Which is your favourite Christmas song and why? Go on, force yourself to be festive and pop it in comments!

As you were!

Oh and Merry Christmas obvs, with love from a small village in Devon. X

 

 

 

 

47. On ya bike!

How I found out the hard way that I needed a bike if I wanted to go for a bike ride.

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The children are old enough to have what I call proper bikes now. Gone are the days of chucking a balance bike and Thomas The Tank Engine themed cycle in the car boot. We no longer needed to trot behind them (sweating profusely in parkas) as they rode around our local forest. Ted, my husband gave himself a bike for his last birthday so I recently bought a secondhand mountain bike from our local Bike Shop. I think I knew deep down, perhaps intuitively, that if I wanted to go bike riding with the kids too then I would need a bike.

So, now that we are a bona fide cycling family of four we require the appropriate apparatus i.e. a bike car rack thingy to get all the bikes to the local forest. So Ted set about researching this necessary accessory with such ponderous questions as would we need a rack for the roof? Or the tow bar? Or some kind of hifalutin trailer thingy? Well – as I would rather translate my tax return into Latin and then fill it in-in ancient Greek than do this kind of research – I left Ted to it. Undaunted, he went about this investigative research with relish and in the end, after much deliberation and comparing on numerous websites….prepare to be fascinated right out of your seat, Ted settled on a 4 bike tow bar cycle carrier.

Not our grimy car or our muddy bikes, but you get the idea. *I do not advocate painting your registration plates yellow as you may be prosecuted or fined.

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My complex relationship with cycling and cycling related issues.

I’d like to be someone who loves to be dressed head to toe in shiny second skin lycra with a reinforced padded gusset.

I’d like to be someone who sports elbow and knee padding up to my armpits and is perfectly happy about cold liquid mud/puddle spray liberally plastered up my back.

I’d like to be someone who has rosy ruddy cheeks while cycling at top speed around the forest trails in pursuit of equally lycra attired, ruddy-cheeked kids also sprayed head to toe in layers of wet sludge.

I’d like to be someone who is happy to walk about with post bike ride sweaty/slapped down #helmethair in a public place.

But when I bought my bike from the Bike Shop I was the someone who asked the **nice man to fit my mountain bike with mud guards………….yes he did refuse, wide eyed and horrified as if I’d just asked him to tamper with the brakes on Bradley Wiggins’ best Tour De France bike. But I cajoled and persuaded him into it and I think he may have felt slightly violated as he performed the mudguard fitting operation! However, he held his own when he point blank refused (with flat upward facing palms and everything) to fit me a shopping basket. I tried him with panniers, again this was met with undisguised disaproval! Of course, this was most disconcerting as I imagined myself smugly shopping local on two wheels. Where was I going to stick my whimsy baguette and bunch of Chrysanths?….I think the **nice man in the bike shop had a few suggestions which he was kind enough to mutter at an inaudible level!

Local bike rides and how to get the best out of them.

Our house to a lovely pub on the estuary – just long enough to get a severely numb bum but a good bar snack at the destination.

Our house to the nearest beach – just long enough to get a thorough inner thigh chafing but on the flat via a newly built ‘psychopath’ with various cafe emporiums, therefore a good panini at the destination.

Our house to the local forest – can’t be done on bikes due to a massive hill but that won’t stop us! So, a 5 mile jolly in the car (newly acquired rack required) but worth it because there is a good latte waiting in the nice cafe at the destination.

Our house to a stunning local lookout point and place of significant natural beauty – no point, there’s no cafe/pub at the destination.

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My helpful tips for comfortable bike riding and other unrequested advice.

A bum deal

Get a bum padding cover thingy for your bike saddle from ***Poundland, it’ll be the best £1 you’ll ever spend. Or why not go the whole hog and get proper gel filled bum padding from a well-known cycle retailer or indeed buy a comfortable saddle in the first place.

Cycling with children

Use this suggestion – don’t take the kids bike riding (this comes with a no whinging and whining satisfaction guarantee or your money back. Order now for delivery before Christmas.)

An alternative to bike riding

Walk instead (full disclosure: this may be slower and therefore take longer).                        

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Do you love cycling? Really? Do you love a muddy river up your back? How do you feel about having #helmethair in a public place? Let me know your cycling anecdotes in comments!

As you were!

* a public service announcement.

** actually a really nice man.

***Poundland gets a mention here but this post was not sponsored by their bum padding saddle cover range. All opinions are my own.

Life Love and Dirty Dishes

 

46. Don’t hide your light under a (blackberry) bush(el).

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I love a blackberry and apple crumble and in early Autumn the county of Devon offers up a veritable bounty of  blackberry super fruits. And blimmin’ soooooper they are too – packed rigid with antioxidants and all conveniently plucked from the local hedgerows. Always a good idea to give them a good wash though – important to remove the  sparrow piss and spider spittle!

I like to be fully prepared for the blackberry season so I always make ready my car in early Autumn. Most people keep essentials in their vehicle such as a torch, a reflective triangle thingy, and water but my emergency supplies are jettisoned for numerous blackberry collecting receptacles – freezer bags, lidded tupperware and baskets which fill up my boot. A high vis jacket and spare tyre are just for wimps anyway.

So, over the last month I have stopped in many country lanes in order to dash out of the car and grab handfuls of these luscious fruits thus smugly utilizing my multitudinous blackberry gathering tubs. In addition, all our recent family walks or bike rides have been unceremoniously bastardised for my blackberry picking preoccupation.  I make *Mummy Pig look like a complete amateur, and unlike *Mummy Pig and **Hugh Hefner I’ve never stumbled into a bush – rookie mistake!Screen Shot 2017-10-07 at 10.13.45.pngMummy Pig found herself in the bush…..Daddy Pig wished it was him. Photo on Youtube.com where you can watch the episode in full. So welcome.

Anyhoo, last weekend we enjoyed the fruits of my labours quite literally in the form of one of my seasonal blackberry and apple crumbles. But on this occasion I found I had surplus ingredients. So what would you suggest I do with the left over blackberries, apples, crumble mix and even custard….. err, make another crumble you cretin – right?

Wrong! – that would be both too sensible and boring and you’re better than that. So I decided to challenge myself – no, not by scaling Ben Nevis, swimming the channel or getting through a Monday afternoon without Pinot Grigio but by coming up with my own recipe using the aforementioned ingredients….so…..ta dah…here is the (catchily titled) Devon Blackberry and Apple Crumble and Custard Muffins. Yeah yeah, I know this *may* have been done before so some humouring on your part *may* be required.

Yertiz!

3 Large eggs

200g of cooking marg or butter

150g of sugar

300g of self raising flour

175g blackberries or thereabouts. Top Tip alert: I like to fill up the tupperware containing the blackberries with water for a while. You’ll find that any hidden creepy crawlies will conveniently bob up to the surface and you can simply drain them off. Enjoy.

1 small apple – diced into tiny pieces

14 generous teaspoons of custard.

50g or so of crumble mix for sprinkling on top. Top Tip alert: this can be homemade or shop bought, I’m not here to judge.

The cake mix: never pretty, but I don’t feel I needed to hide the truth from you.

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Cream the marg and sugar, add the eggs then the flour. Mix in the apple and then gently fold in the blackberries otherwise they’ll break down into an perplexing purple pulp.

Alert: remember when you put the custard in to flob a bit of the cake mix over it before the crumble topping bit.

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Alert: Go easy with the crumble topping – a nice, light, even sprinkling will suffice or the muffins wont be able to rise up and as ***Mary Berry will explain, you’ll get a soggy bottom which was a problem for her until she found Tena Lady pants because of course her baking has always been exemplary.

Alert: Makes 14 muffins which is super annoyingly – one muffin tray plus 2 more cake cases in another muffin tray…..and then they wont all fit in a standard sized cake tin….so you have to eat two………sorrynotsorry.

Alert: Bake on 180 for about 25 mins – but keep faffing about opening the oven door letting all the heat out every 5 minutes because you aren’t sure if the black bits are blackberries or burnt bits.

Alert: Calories? Probably. Potentially offsetted by traipsing around the countryside finding the blackberries. However if no traisping was undertaken and you did indeed buy your blackberries I would have to suggest a full 20 mins on the cross trainer per muffin!

Alert: Below is a muffin straight out of the oven. The custard does in fact solidify in a cold muffin…sorryamsorry.

Perhaps use an old glass bowl which you have inherited from a kind elderly relative which may or may not make the muffin look slightly more attractive.

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Other attractive bowl reinforcements might need to be busted out.

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Testimonials….

Lottie (aged 8): “Did you make any plain muffins?”

Toby (aged 10): “Can I just have the custardy bit?”

My visiting Mother:  “Ooh a bit pippy…I’ll be picking those out of my fillings for days! Why didn’t you just make another crumble?…..I could have taken it home for your father.”

Ted (husband): “Hmmmmm….delicious!” (and no, he wasn’t taking the piss.)

Of all the testimonials, I’ve decided to go with *delicious*.

So there we have it, Devon Blackberry and Apple and Custard Crumble Muffins like Blackberry and Apple Crumble but more cakey, more calories and more work! Enjoy.

Have you totally made up or made over a recipe recently? Go on, don’t hide your light under a (blackberry) bush(el), share it with a link in comments!

As you were!

*allegedly

** really allegedly

*** very allegedly

YAY! I’m a featured blogger on #dreamteam with this post! 17/10/2017 Huge thanks to 3littlebuttons.com rhymingwithwine.com and bridiebythesea.com

3 Little Buttons

 

Rhyming with Wine

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45. Acceptable Autumness?

I’m not one of those people who embraces Autumn, in fact I’m not generally speaking  buying it…..coffee

Right! You’ve hardly cremated your last banger on the barbeque or peeled off that stubborn bit of flaky tanned skin when the ‘new season’ is trotted in by the official harbingers of Autumn! Errr that’ll be TV’s *Tess Daly and **Claudia Winkleman then and no! – a few choice sparkly and heavily sequinned dresses do not compensate for killing summer stone dead like an overly optimistic badger on the M5. Simon Cowell is also guilty of passing a chilly shadow over the warmth of the last summer rays with his insipid singing talent show which is now tackier than a Nutella stained furry onesie. Paul Hollywood is another one shafting late summer as he tempts us with stodgy carbed baked foods and cosy patronising patter for the bakers. All the while pretty golden leaves are barely even swirlin’ outside the tent.

And so just like that, the media tosses us unceremoniously into those tricky transitional days between summer and what I call real Autumn. In particular, the unpredicatable weather will joyfully find us invariably dressed inappropriately. We’ll choose woolly tights on what turns out to be a freakily warm sunny day. We’ll leave the house with a mere cardy against the elements just as storm (insert stupid twee name like) Doris arrives! Doris sounds like she’d bake you a Great British Bake Off standard Victoria Sponge not flood the high street, blow the bins over and bash your bastard garden fence down!

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The supermarkets and shops are also in on this abrupt seasonal shift.

August 31st: Disposable BBQs, burgers and a wide selection of marinated meats!

September 1st: Pumpkin and butternut squash everybloodything! 

Soup! How retailers are just conning you into buying even more bread – namely crusty loaves/baguettes/rolls. Ever enjoyed a bowl of soup without bread? Thought not.

Tights! No sooner have we been cajoled into stocking up on warm tights (pun very much intended) then we are abusing the toe gusset by wearing said tights out to the bins in flips flops!! What do you deem acceptable to wear on your feet out to the bins – surely  there’s a tug boat full of subject matter for another blog post here? 

Stationery! I love a bit of new stationery – I’m not going to pretend otherwise. A couple of choice pieces please such as a handy sized notebook for blog ideas and a lovely large lined jotter pad! But it’s owls and foxes on everybloodything! It’s albloodyways woodland creatures for Autumn, and albloodyways safari animals for Summer. Is this not a little seasonist! Can’t we change it up a bit? The answer is ‘no’, followed by a short sharp slap around the face and a ‘pull yourself together’. Owls and foxes are going nowhere!

A final note regarding the shopsMarks and Spencers, Sparks, Markses or good old Marks&Sparks! (whatever your pet name for this shopping emporium) the fact of the matter is that Marks and Spencers is on one from now until Christmas. Seriously. Its stock is double dipped in glitter and sparkles then thrice cooked in duck fat and that’s not just Twiggy’s new range! We’ll have to sit through weeks nay months of multitudinous jazz handed and fake snow infested advertisements as their xmas campaign snowballs from now (not really Autumn) towards 24th December. Yes, you’re a well loved British high street stalwart and I personally love you but….have a calm Marks and Spencers……have a calm. 

Don’t mess with my (Autumnal) toot toot!

By toot toot I actually mean….err coffee! 

I’ve happily drunk plain old, common or garden mochas, lattes and hot chocolates all year long. I don’t suddenly need a Snow White Chocolate and Peppermint Mocha. Equally my much loved long milky coffee does not need to be vegetable inspired, spiced, frothed and pimped into a Pumpkin Spiced Latte. I also don’t require my hot chocolate to be unashamedly turned into a brash and seedy version of itself with an extra large bouffant of cream, a vertiginous tower of marshmallows and a flake the size of The Shard! I’m just after a chocolatey drink is all, not arse implants which is basically where this calorific concoction would end up! There’s no need for the bastardising of all the hot beverages!

Just about acceptable Autumness!

blackberries

Blackberry and apple crumble is in many circumstances acceptable (unless sticky toffee pudding is in the offing) and this fruity desert gets an Autumn free pass. That’s right, I’m not mad at these seasonal fruits combined with that tasty crumbly topping and super sweet custard!……mind you, afterwards the pips-in-teeth sitch is a total fecking arse!

Ok, ok, having a log fire is delectable with that organic, smokey aroma and warmth…….mind you, going out in tights and flip flops to get the logs in during Storm Twee Name is also a total fecking arse!

But there is just one thing I’ll hold my hands up to (strap in)…….if the weather is clement, if I’m adequately dressed and if I’m palming a hot beverage in a travel mug…. I’ll admit to maybe slightly enjoying (imagine I’m saying this really quickly right into your ear in a furtive breathy whisper) ……a walk in the woods through crunchy leaves……….sssshhhhh.

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Do you feel romantically lulled into Autumn or downright conned?  What do you love and hate about this transitional period into what I call real Autumn?

As you were!

*and **, look Tess and Claudia, I’ve got no beef with you. In fact I love that you are two talented women presenting on a hugely successful show, it’s just your timing – is all. 

Marks and Spencers, you know  I love you, send me a voucher! Go on!

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