Bonfires, Building, Beach Huts, Ballet and a Very Big Wind

Well, there was cooking too, but that doesn’t begin with “B”, although I could have added “Baking”, I suppose.

A recipe coming up soon, but a quick tour of the last 10 days in Bexhill. Oh, there you go, anther “B”.

Meetings with previously unmet, long distant cousins from New Zealand, gave us some happy meals together and a night out in Hastings to celebrate their annual Bonfire Festival (which has nothing to do with Firework Night, or Guy Fawkes Night).

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Lots of loud noises, an enormous bonfire, spectacular fireworks and a very good evening with mulled wine.

Walks on the beach with the pups past the very typical seaside beach huts.

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Building works continue with wallpaper stripping being my current job.

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Time too for a little fun, and also some culture. Last night we went to watch the Moscow Ballet perform Swan Lake at the De La Warr Pavilion. It was Big Man’s first time at the ballet, so I was excited for him to see something spectacular, to have his breath taken away. Alas, it was not to be. A rather lacklustre performance with some seriously out of time ballet.

Some of the swans looked suspiciously duck-like with their thick thighs and broad shoulders and the White Swan and Black Swan were so very different I felt like yelling out to the Prince “Oi Mate, you need to get to Specsavers…she’s The Wrong Bird”.

All the way through I was distracted with thoughts of a very funny sketch by two female comedians French & Saunders and the world famous ballet dancer, Darcey Bussell…or Barcey Dussell as they call her. If you have 15 minutes to spare, pour yourself a glass of wine or make a cup of coffee and have a giggle with me.

And then over the weekend, the forecast of great winds in the south of England. Time to batten down the hatches and prepare. An enormous tree in a neighbour’s garden has been slowly pushing down our back garden wall.

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Finally the local council gave permission for it to come down and fortunately the tree surgeons saw how dangerous it was and came round to start work before the “Great Storm” hit.

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So, it’s been a busy time for us. We have been cooking up some good food too, and I promise you a lovely recipe of Chicken Cacciatore (sort of) next.

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What I am sure of though, is that Ballerinas don’t eat food like this and that Builders like Big Man and Chica (whilst unlikely to ever sport tights with a cod piece or a sticky out tutu) need hearty dishes to see them through the hard work and the gale force winds.

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Just Walking the Pups … and Knocking Down Walls

Well, I didn’t man to knock down a wall, I was actually stripping wallpaper off it. And a very tricky, sticky job it was too. Then a little crack appeared, so I tapped it and a little hole appeared. So I tapped it. And before I knew it, I really shouldn’t have bothered spending all that time carefull stripping the paper off, as the wall fell down. Well, strictly speaking it fell off, but either way…it’s another job for Big Man.

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At least the pups weren’t bothered by the dust and noise, they just made themselves a little nest of warm sticky wallpaper and bedded down for a snooze.

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Then it was time for a walk and a stunning sunset.

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The waves blew the cobwebs (and house dust) away.

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And there was even time to admire the architecture of The Colonnade, a beautiful listed building dating back to 1911.

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Recipes are thin on the ground this week, we’re eating old favourites but when the dust settles, I’ll be back with the food. Now…where’s that corkscrew?!

Deep Fried Courgettes – Zucchini Fritti

Well, the title says it all, so if you don’t deep fry or don’t eat fried food, then this one is not for you…

(You could try Natalies beautiful Baked Courgettes instead and check out her fantastic blog which is packed full of amazing vegetarian recipes.)

But you can still enjoy this photo of some super fresh vegetables bought round for us from our lovely neighbours who picked our tomatoes while we were away. From the field to our plates in less than a couple of hours…how wonderful is that?!

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When we are Down by the Sea, a local Italian restaurant does a side dish of deep fried courgettes. I used to order them and gorge on a portion myself, safe in the knowledge that Big Man was not a big fan of this gorgeous vegetable. Of course, the day finally came when he decided to give them a go and unfortunately for me, I now have to share. Must remember to stop saying “go on, try them, I think you’ll love them”. Sometimes you get what you asked for.

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Ingredients

  • One courgette cut into thick batons
  • A little milk
  • A few tablespoons of flour seasoned with a little salt and pepper
  • Oil for deep frying

Dip the courgette pieces first in the milk, then the seasoned flour and deep fry in very hot oil for a few minutes until lightly browned. Drain, sprinkle with coarse salt and serve. Alioli or garlic mayonnaise is great with them.

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Make double if you run the risk of having to share.

Still Here…and wearing my “Lady Builder” hat again!

Yes, we’re back Down by the Sea, and taking on another mad building project. Sorry, we’ve only been here since last weekend and have already settled back into our little home and started work. It’s been manic, but am trying to keep up with you all. Please excuse me if I’ve missed a few posts, or my comments have been a little short. You do know I miss you all…don’t you?

And because I know some of you like to see those “before” and “after” shots….here are a few “oh my god, what on earth are we doing this again for?” shots!

You all know I like a good bathroom challenge…..

A hip bath - always handy for washing your hips!
A hip bath – always handy for washing your hips!

An overgrown garden…bring it on!

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Hey, an original feature….let’s keep that one.

The rubble on the floor is part of the ceiling which has fallen down - hey, you can't have everything!
The rubble on the floor is part of the ceiling which has fallen down – hey, you can’t have everything!

Normal service will be resumed shortly….sort of.

Take a walk with me…around Granada

We are very lucky when we are Up the Mountain, to live less than an hour and a half from the amazingly beautiful city of Granada. Home to the stunning Palace of the Alhambra, it’s a city that softly breathes echoes of its mediaeval Moorish past at every corner.

Today I’m going to take you on a little walk from the top of the hill which overlooks the Alhambra, to enjoy the amazing views of the palace from the Mirador (view point) de San Nicolás – probably one of the most photographed views in Granada.

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If you wind your way slowly down the hill you get back to the town centre, walking through narrow streets.

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Not many cars here, only residents, the little bus and taxis can enter.

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Beautiful architecture.

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Busy squares

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Restaurants galore…

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Granada is famed for its tapas – with every drink, something wonderful to taste.

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Peek through windows.

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And fortify yourself with coffee and pastries. These little ones are called Piononos, named after a Pope and made in Santa Fé, a town just outside the city of Granada.

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This past weekend was a huge religious festival with special cakes for “The Virgin” being sold everywhere.

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A stroll around the centre and a chuckle at the Eco Roundabout!

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Photos taken on my phone, so not the greatest quality, but when in Granada, you just have to soak up the atmosphere, enjoy the tapas and tea shops, and promise to go back again.