Tuesday 24 February 2015

Week 38: Testing out the new bike

Glorious day to test out the new bike with a ride up and around Telscombe Tye in the sunshine for an extended lunch break.  I'm going to have to do a few more in order to get fit enough for my Castle to Castle ride in September!

Great to just be able to jump on the bike and take a break from work - especially as the weather is getting better, although it was a lot colder than it looks.

Monday 16 February 2015

Week 37: Paddington Bear's favourite

I make marmalade every now and then, when I spot Seville oranges in the shops for the brief couple of weeks when they're available.  My organic veg delivery box had some available.

I tried a different recipe this year - Ultimate Seville orange marmalade (BBC Goodfood).  The principle is the same - oranges, sugar and water but a much quicker option is to boil the fruit whole before making the marmalade.

Sooo much easier to cut up the fruit when it's soft rather than the hours it takes normally me.  This is the fiddliest and messiest part of the whole process.  It's then a matter of putting all the ingredients together and boiling until you reach 'setting' point which is a fairly random point.  Over-boil it and you get too solid a marmalade, under-boil and it's runny.

I added ginger this year but you'd hardly notice - definitely need to add a lot more to get the lovely ginger kick.

Options: - thicker cut for a chunkier marmalade, add dark brown sugar or molasses for a darker marmalade.  It's also easy to make at any time of year with lemons and limes (very tasty) or you can even just use the sweeter, eating oranges or any citrus fruit.

Monday 9 February 2015

Week 36: New Bike!

Finally treated myself to a new bike - thanks to @PaulYatesSmith for his assistance and expertise in helping me to spend my money (wisely) on a @Specialized hybrid!

Nothing too flash and certainly not something that costs the price of a small car!

I need a new bike for the Castle to Castle bike ride I'll be doing in September for the Odyssey Charity Challenge.

I'll need some serious training to get me up and down those hills having read that the Sustrans Route 8 is the toughest long-distance ride on the National Cycle Network!

Sunday 8 February 2015

Week 35: Hedgelaying in the sunshine

Well, I bet you didn't expect to see 'hedgelaying' on the list!

We occasionally get a chance to do it as South Downs Volunteer Rangers and it's an activity I've not done for a while.

Using axes to lay a length of hedge on Saddlescombe Farm - it was very cold, hence the layers and hat.  Hard work and difficult to get right - especially when you're not used to wielding an axe.

All those lengths of hedge have to get laid by someone and it's either volunteers or a small group of skilled craftsmen who do it for a living.

More on hedges and hedgelaying on the National Hedgelaying Society website.

Friday 6 February 2015

Week 35: It's A Blast!

Curso de Instructor de Pilates
I've been going to Pilates for a few months now - in fact almost a year, having started just after I'd finished chemo.

I'd notice but not participated in the Circuit Blast class that runs straight after my Pilates class but this time decided to stay on and give it a go.

Fun, hard work and thankfully only 30 minutes!

One minute blasts of weights, exercise and aerobic bursts of activity like skipping and jumping jacks to get the heart rate going.  That certainly doesn't happen in Pilates but having already exercised the core muscles some of the sit-ups were a challenge!

Have now added this to the exercise mix.

Pilates Instructor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sunday 1 February 2015

Week 34: Brighton - Seedy Sunday

The melee that is Seedy Sunday at the Brighton Dome each February - where you can buy or swap seeds and enjoy a range of growing and gardening delights, talks and food.

I picked up a lot of seeds for this year's veg planting.

The knitted map of Brighton taken from an original 1792 Terrier map showing the Laines and Furlongs (strips of land). The different colours showing different ownership of the land.