Wednesday, 5 December 2007


I've got a kitchen! ...with a cooker...and a's fantastic!!

After several months of cooking on a camping stove in the living room we have now moved back into the kitchen, where the new rayburn means that there is constant warmth and cooking facilities.

Since we reclaimed the kitchen I've been really busy and haven't had the time to fully appreciate it, but over the last few days I've been re-acquainting myself with the art of cooking.
I've lost all my cookery books (well, I'm sure they're in a box somewhere, but I haven't found them yet) except one Delia Smith book, so I've been giving that a good try-out and have done a beef goulash type thing and also Mexican chilli chicken with tomato salsa. I also suddenly developed a craving for sweetcorn chowder and invented a recipe for that, involving smoked haddock (how ridiculous that it costs more to have it without dye...?!) creme fraiche and fresh and tinned sweetcorn...very excellent! (as my mum would say)

And yes - I know I haven't written in this journal for ages, and that there are loads of things I could be telling you about - but right now I'm mostly interested in cooking!!
Got to go - there's a banana and chocolate cake recipe in the Rayburn cookbook which is calling to me....

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Julian's wedding!

Iwona is a brave girl to take on 'the Picasso of the melodeon' Julian Sutton!

But she's also quite a lucky girl; Julian is the most honest person I know, incapable of deceit. And not bad on that melodeon either...

The wedding was lovely - lots of music, dancing and good friends.

I'm still recovering!

Friday, 24 August 2007

Just a Quickie

To say that we survived the Italy/Slovenia trip (had quite a nice time in fact!)

Last night I went to a concert in Durham where I was lucky enough to hear Maurice Bourgue play the suite for oboe and piano by Pavel Haas. It made me cry - what a player.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Everything including the kitchen sink!

In my last journal entry I was looking ahead with some trepidation to all the travelling we have to do over the next few days

I've changed my mind now...I'm looking forward to it! Partly because of the gigs - the band is playing really well together at the moment and I'm loving it. Also because we get to go to Italy, even if it is only for one day. And finally because the house is becoming increasingly un-homely...
For the past week we've had no kitchen, but at least the sink still worked so we could pick our way through the rubble and fill the kettle. But today the sink was taken away. So that means that the only water we have is the sink in the tiny downstairs shower room - a dark little place with no window. And now all the downstairs lights have gone off, with no prospect of them coming on again in the next few days...quite a good time to go away I think!

Better go and get my bag packed.

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Long Drives

It's going to be a bit of a tiring week I thinkWe're off to Italy, which normally I'd be really looking forward to, but this time we're going to spend more time travelling than actually being there.

Tomorrow night I'll drive down to London and we'll stay in a hotel near Stansted airport ready to leave early next morning (we can't fly from Newcastle, as the car has to be down South ready for us to get to Wickham festival on Saturday) Then we arrive in Italy and do a gig there, and I'm sure we'll have a lovely time. Unfortunately the next night's gig isn't in Italy at all, but in Slovenia - the Okarina Festival, in the worryingly named town of Bled. So that's going to be a long drive. Then after the gig in Slovenia we drive back overnight to Venice, where we get a flight at 5.30am, getting us back to Stansted, where we get in the car and drive to Wickham, ready for a soundcheck at 4pm. Then the next day we drive to Aldeburgh - another longish drive, then the next day I drive home. Wonderful!

I shouldn't complain really - the travelling is a pain, but the gigs more than make up for it. At least I hope they will!

Just a quick message to all of you who were at the Buxton concert - thanks so much for making it a lovely gig for us. We really enjoyed playing. And the theatre was lovely. And my flowers are still looking healthy - thanks!

Work is still going on in the house - we still have no heating, and now the kitchen is completely out of action...which is a great excuse to go out and try all the local restaurants and pubs. I think we've tried them all now, and are going round for the second time!