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

28 Oct

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.

Tree (2)

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.

Tree Stump (1)

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.

Pollo Cacciatore (3)

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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47 Responses to “Bonfires, Building, Beach Huts, Ballet and a Very Big Wind”

  1. Mad Dog October 28, 2013 at 12:11 #

    I think I need hearty dishes like that too! I’m going to watch fireworks from Trellick Tower this weekend – you can see half of London, so it should be good 😉

    • Chica Andaluza October 28, 2013 at 19:45 #

      Looks like that will be fun – am sure there will be eating involved at some point too!

  2. Food,Photography & France October 28, 2013 at 12:25 #

    Hope the storm hasn’t done any damage. That looks like good food for all the hard work that you’re putting in.

    • Chica Andaluza October 28, 2013 at 19:46 #

      A fence came down in the house we’re doing up, but we were going to replace it anyway, so we didn’t stress!

  3. Ria October 28, 2013 at 14:35 #

    Wow – no tree what a difference! x

    • Chica Andaluza October 28, 2013 at 19:47 #

      You have to get dressed now when you go into the kitchen though as everyone can see you now 😉

  4. Lynn October 28, 2013 at 14:46 #

    Not only Baking – but basting, blanching, blending, braising, boiling. That little courtyard garden looks lovely now.

    • Chica Andaluza October 28, 2013 at 19:47 #

      Forgot al those – I think I’ve been doing pretty much all of them too 🙂 The garden is getting there, we just need some plants now!

  5. spicegirlfla October 28, 2013 at 15:25 #

    Mmm…I’ve got my mom’s chicken cacciatore recipe coming, can’t wait to compare notes!! And, definitely,ballerinas are not eating dishes like this! I know because during my transition back to Florida I stayed with a former professional ballerina and learned quickly she did not even eat dinner! Her husband made sure to eat out before coming home and when I came “home” from work, I made something little for myself and eventually gave up dinner too. Of course, back in my own home, I eat dinner!!

    • Chica Andaluza October 28, 2013 at 19:48 #

      Oh you poor thing – I have a friend who is a dancer but luckily her partner likes to cook and eat – so no need to suffer when we are together 🙂 Looking forward to your recipe, I can’t claim mine is that authentic…but sort of!

  6. thecompletebook October 28, 2013 at 15:55 #

    “Oi Mate, you need to get to Specsavers…she’s The Wrong Bird” – bwahahaha – I would love to have been in the audience had you said that – can you just imagine! What a shame it was not what you were hoping for for Big Man. Oh well, can’t win them all I guess.
    You are clearly a natural at the wallpaper stripping – I would probably have chunks of wall out everywhere. Tell you what, I will rather give you moral support whilst sipping on a glass of wine. I am a very good supervisor… 😉
    Hope all is safe after the horrible weather you guys had this weekend.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Chica Andaluza October 28, 2013 at 19:49 #

      Luckily I restrained myself and behaved like a proper lady! Glad I made you chuckle. Am now having a glass of wine too…so I feel like we’re sharing a drink and a giggle….

      • thecompletebook October 29, 2013 at 13:47 #

        Cheers – lovely sharing a glass of wine and giggle with you.xo

  7. Amanda October 28, 2013 at 16:00 #

    Sounds like a lot of fun and a lot of commotion. Glad you see the humor in all the things you’ve got going on. Thanks for sharing!

  8. cookinginsens October 28, 2013 at 18:43 #

    Delicious looking chicken. Looking forward to the recipe.

  9. narf77 October 28, 2013 at 18:44 #

    French and saunders were definately on the money with Barsey Dussell weren’t they? Loved those two together :). Was wondering how all of you Northerners were handling the big wind/storm/hurricane that we have been hearing about. Hopefully nothing too strenuous to take you out of that wallpaper stripping that you are obviously enjoying incredibly ;). Those ballet dancers might just be enjoying more than their fair share of chook cacciatore by the sound of it and rather them than me! I don’t think I could exist on a diet of water, the odd lick of a slice of apple and 4 kale stalks a week. Not my “thang'” to be honest. Goes to show you that when you try to culture up your bloke, you really need to make sure the culture is worth it…good luck getting the big man to another ballet performance this century 😉

    • Chica Andaluza October 28, 2013 at 20:00 #

      F&S were hysterical (pretty much all of their stuff). I am nearly done with the wallpaper stripping and I can’t say I’ll be shedding any tears when it’s over…And you forgot the tissues, don’t ballet dancers fill up on paper tissues?! Eek, ballet is off the menu for a while. Mind you, I’ve taken him to a Bruce Springsteen Concert, a Ballet Flamenco show, Cirque du Soleil and we’re signed up for a Burns Night supper….he just takes it all in his stride (thank god)!

      • narf77 October 28, 2013 at 20:09 #

        Lol! So long as there is tucker during or afterwards you should be right 😉 (Oh…and beer!)

      • Chica Andaluza October 29, 2013 at 00:02 #

        Absolutely!

      • narf77 October 29, 2013 at 03:33 #

        😉

  10. PendleStitches October 28, 2013 at 19:13 #

    You do sound like you’re having fun, disappointing ballet aside. It’s such a beautiful locale too. Glad the tree came down before the storm. We missed the worst of it here, although I’d have been awfully grateful for that tree through my decrepit porch… 😉

    • Chica Andaluza October 28, 2013 at 20:01 #

      I know what you mean about the falling tree – we want a small extension built and the tree falling and hitting the spot would have helped. It probably would have killed us too as it’s our bedroom we want to change 😉

      • PendleStitches October 28, 2013 at 23:29 #

        Yeah…that’s probably taking it a bit far…!

  11. Promenade Claire October 28, 2013 at 21:15 #

    Priceless! I see you are on fine fooling. And how did you know that the Barcey Dussel sketch is a particular favourite – good toes, naughty toes ……

    • Chica Andaluza October 29, 2013 at 00:01 #

      I hadn’t watched it for ages and it had me in stitches again 🙂

  12. Eha October 29, 2013 at 02:24 #

    Midday 29th in E Australia and I have been to all the relevant weather radars in Europe re St. Jude’s. What a crazy storm of two met systems combining with no centre! How on earth does one ‘read’ that!! Anyways, you sound OK: thanks God and the darn system at the moment seems to be battering [?] my birth country of Estonia. We had/have the fires, you the winds!! Love classical ballet ~ sorry yours did not measure up!!

    • Chica Andaluza October 29, 2013 at 08:55 #

      Oh dear, poor Estonia – the world seems to be suffering some real weather extremes right now 😦

  13. ChgoJohn October 29, 2013 at 02:53 #

    It’s such a disappointment to go to a performance and find it sub-standard, specially when you’re bringing someone who’s never been. All this, a record storm, and wallpaper removal, too? I’m glad you didn’t throw yourself on a bonfire, Tanya. 🙂 That chicken cacciatore of yours looks fantastic and I cannot wait to see the recipe.
    French & Saunders were/are comic geniuses and this clip is hilarious. The Specsavers advert hit a little close to home. Last week I lost my eyeglasses, only to have my foot locate them on a black rug. I’ve been bumbling about ever since, wearing a cheap pair of reading glasses, waiting for my new glasses to be made.

    • Chica Andaluza October 29, 2013 at 08:58 #

      It was a little disappointing. I’ve been very lucky and seen Swan Lake performed by The Royal Ballet at Covent Garden, another performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London and the most fun – Matthew Bourne’s all male production http://swanlaketour.com/

      What a shame about your glasses – Big Man keeps threatening me with one of those chains to wear round your neck with the specs attached as I need mine for distance and am always taking them off around the house and then I can’t find them…I have certainly sat on a few pairs over the years 😦

      • ChgoJohn October 29, 2013 at 09:25 #

        I would love to see Bourne’s troupe perform. Are you familiar with Les Ballet Trockadero? Their performances are a bit more tongue in cheek, at least compared to the video you shared. I hope you can view this:

      • Chica Andaluza October 29, 2013 at 18:06 #

        I had heard of them and seen them on tv but never live – I’d love to! I bet it must be really difficult to dance like that in a parody of something serious – rather like a talented pianist playing “badly” – so much harder to pull off 🙂 Maybe one day we’ll get to see them together!

  14. Diane Thorn October 29, 2013 at 03:38 #

    Fireworks looked spectacular.
    The feedback from the “NZ cousins” was so positive you guys must have had a great time.

    It’s 3.30 afternoon here, and that chicken looks perfect for dinner tonight. Now have to go and chase down a chicken.

    • Chica Andaluza October 29, 2013 at 09:02 #

      We were so pleased to be able to spend time with them! You have a wonderful family – of course 🙂

  15. TBM October 29, 2013 at 15:16 #

    How about BBQIng? is that a word? Glad to hear the tree was taken down before the storm. That could have been bad. Sorry to hear about the ballet. Hopefully Big Man will give it another go.

    • Chica Andaluza October 29, 2013 at 18:03 #

      BBQing is most certainly a word! Hopefully we’ll be able to have one when we get a nice sunny autumn day. I will work gradually on Big Man to build him up again for his next ballet experience 😉

  16. restlessjo October 29, 2013 at 21:57 #

    Barcelona! There’s another “B”. I’m looking forward to eating there Spanish style at the weekend. 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza October 29, 2013 at 23:06 #

      How wonderful – have a fabulous time (how could you not?!) 🙂

  17. Tandy | Lavender and Lime October 30, 2013 at 05:07 #

    I hope that you survived the storm with no damage!

    • Chica Andaluza October 31, 2013 at 10:21 #

      Just a few fence panels down – but they were due to be replaced anyway! Thanks for thinking of us 🙂

  18. fati's recipes October 30, 2013 at 14:34 #

    Loved reading this post, Chica!
    Watching that skit now before heading to bed :))

  19. spree October 30, 2013 at 20:47 #

    How infuriating when you introduce your love to something new, something you know will be spectacular and change his mind forever so that he now loves that very thing you do – and he exclaims with fervent passion mixed with regret – “OH, Tanya, I’ve been so wrong! How could I not have trusted you? Ballet far exceeds soccer in my mind! And I cannot possibly EVER get enough of it!” And then…the very thing (in this instance Duck Lake) doesn’t live up by any measure to what it should! Now, when’s the Next time Big Man will ever step back into a ballet theatre? {sigh}
    But all else in your life seems to be coming along just beautifully! Enjoy so much your next days!

    • Chica Andaluza October 31, 2013 at 10:23 #

      Oh you really understood the experience we had 🙂 We’re laughing about it now though. I am working on tracking down a good production of The Nutcracker for Christmas 🙂

  20. bitsandbreadcrumbs October 31, 2013 at 15:45 #

    So glad they got that tree down before the storm, and what a difference it makes in the view! Love the French and Saunders skit and I can well imagine how hard it must have been to not giggle during the performance if it reminded you of this sketch! I remember Saunders from Ab Fab and loved her, but this is the first time I’ve seen these two together. Those leopard tights are killing me. 🙂 Can’t wait for the cacciatore. Haven’t had any in ages and I love that dish.

    • Chica Andaluza October 31, 2013 at 19:31 #

      Yes, you fully understand about storm damage 😦 I loved French and Saunders when I was younger – there’s quite a lot on You Tube if you enjoyed it, very funny indeed!

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