Adventures of Frangipan

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Happily Ever After

Yesterday's Daily Prompt over at the Daily Post at Wordpress was:
“And they lived happily ever after.” Think about this line for a few minutes. Are you living happily ever after? If not, what will it take for you to get there?
Once again it is more appropriate to respond on my Blogger site.

Shockingly the answer is no, I am not living happily ever after. I don't think the answer would be any different if Dad was still here, or even if Dad never got cancer. I'd still be a Masters graduate working well below my qualification level, with very little optimism about that changing. I'd still have lost one of my best friends for an unknown reason. I'd still be angry about the state of the world.

I also think that I'm the kind of person who changes their mind and switches their goals fairly often, either because I achieve something or because I just decide I want to do something else. I think I'm an 'it's the journey not the destination' kind of person: I don't have a finalised bucket list but a constantly changing list instead. So I don't think 'happily ever after' is a concept that applies to me.

But Dad isn't here anymore, and it's changed everything. I used to like quotes such as
you make your own luck
But not so much anymore. There are so many other forces acting on you. Dad got cancer and I got more stuff to do. I had to think about changing my plans to make sure he was still looked after. Then Dad died, and I got a lot more stuff to do. It's changed everything. I've gone from a very independent person with few ties, to someone who jointly owns a house and land which are rented out, and the sole carer of 12 horses.

I love my horses and I don't want to change that. But I now need to switch my goals, to consider what I can and want to achieve in my new situation.

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Murphy's Law

I have both Blogger and Wordpress sites, and one of the nice things about Wordpress is the Daily Prompt on the Daily Post at Wordpress. Today's is:
Murphy’s Law says, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Write about a time everything did — fiction encouraged here, too!
The idea is that this blog gives other bloggers ideas, and people tag this blog post in their replies. However I use my Wordpress site for photography only, so responding to this prompt doesn't really belong there.

So here I am, responding on my Blogger site.

I have my car, my Dad's car, and a tractor. My car desperately needs brake pads, so isn't really roadworthy. I can't get the key to turn in Dad's car, which possibly means I need electrical contact spray, as the 'steering wheel jiggle' and trying to straighten the key didn't work. It's also stuck a mile away from my fields. The tractor needs a jump start from Dad's car in order to move. I need the tractor to move the bales to feed the horses. My car is getting new brake pads tomorrow.

Murphy's Law: there'll be more damage and I won't be able to drive it away again.

Murphy's Law: the electrical contact spray won't work, the car will still be stuck, I won't be able to feed the horses, and I'll have to pay for a mechanic to go see Dad's car.

I feel like there must be more going wrong, or certainly more that could go wrong. Occasional jailbreaks by the ponies, which might prolong laminitis. The thought of having to learn how to chain harrow and roll, and worrying about getting it wrong. Thinking about the need to put up fencing and make paddocks.

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Saturday, 16 February 2013

Vegan Feast at Brookhouse Mill

The week after my Dad died I went to Brookhouse Mill for a drink with my family before my brother returned home to Spain. Once there we decided to have some food, but ordinarily I would book in advance so they would be prepared to make something vegan for me. When I don't book, I usually get something like jacket potato wedges or anything I can adapt easily.

On this particular night I said I was happy doing that unless the chef wanted to make me something. He said he would, and I was presented with this:

I had peppers stuffed with couscous and topped with courgette, Cajun potato wedges, deep-fried polenta, homemade hummus,  sauteed mushrooms and walnuts, and poppadom crisps (not pictured). It was delicious and I felt so guilty that I couldn't finish it.

I would highly recommend Brookhouse Mill (facebook and twitter) for any food, and also if you're looking for a really good vegan meal. If you book in advance they can come up with something really amazing. The head chef Aaron used to be vegetarian so creates really special meals, and the other chefs are all excellent, including Nigel who made this feast.

Disclaimer: I worked at Brookhouse Mill for 8 years.

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Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Vegan Pancakes

A day late but I couldn't use being vegan as an excuse not to have pancakes! I used the recipe from the Eighth Day website. When I get it right they work out really yummy.

I had them with strawberry jam and raspberry and passion fruit yoghurt. I meant to do a batch of savoury pancakes as well, but only remembered after I put the sugar in the mixing bowl. So 11 sweet pancakes instead!

I reckon the recipe could be easily adapted to make scotch pancakes by using self-raising flour or adding baking powder.

I also made vegan Danish pastries the other day which were quite yummy. I'll post a photo of the next batch, which will hopefully be a bit more successful than the first!

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Monday, 11 February 2013

Making Blogger Pages from Labels

For ages I have been trying to figure out how to make Blogger pages that show all the posts with a particular label. I've found loads of complicated instructions about widgets/gadgets and messing around with the HTML script.

And then I found this article.

So simple: just create your new page as a link to a different web address:

Then type the URL for the label's search results, which you can do by viewing your blog, then clicking on the label you want. All the posts with that label will be shown, so then you just copy and paste what's in the address bar. It'll look something like:

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