Monday, December 20, 2010

Walk this Way

Ah! yes, the snow continues to fall - on top of the snow that has already fallen - in the deep, frozen south of London town.  Not the most sensible thing to attempt to walk my normal quota of 30+ miles per week - I'm *really* missing it, btw... So, today - experiencing extreme exercise deprivation - I uncovered an alternative route to maintain some semblance of fitness.

Leslie Sansone's enthusiastic and creative walk-at-home routine (below, from had me feeling sceptical, before I tried it, but I soon realised that it's fun and gets the energy circulating...  It may not be the same as my brisk, scenic Richmond Park or riverside wanderings but it is warming and energising, on a cold day; a good way to counter couch-potato-syndrome and to detract from cabin fever. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Home Sweet Igloo...

Imagine my surprise (or perhaps not, given the weather) when I returned, last night, to discover an igloo had appeared, opposite my house...

Friday, December 17, 2010

More of the same...

It's true, it is enough - already - with the big freeze and repeated snowfall.  Scuppers plans and puts some aspects of life on hold.  Couldn't believe it earlier, when - sitting typing by a window - I blinked and missed the micro sleet baubles that fell and carpeted the ground... in front of me.  Never seen anything quite like it - as if someone had spilt polystyrene packaging-protection, all over the ground.

Then, an hour ago, the snow started to fall - again! It's as thick as you see, above, in that short space of time.  Just hearing - on local radio - that 10cm are forecast for tomorrow (20 cm on higher ground) with Mayor, Boris, saying there is enough grit to cover it.  But... they NEVER grit here - grrr!

There is a bonus, currently, (even if I have had to put plans on hold) - the light is just beautiful!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Walk in the Park

It was such a joy, yesterday, to get back to Richmond Park for a long nature-walk and some much missed hill-climbing.  The weather was a relatively balmy 7 degrees, so I did a double-take - and couldn't resist snapping a pic' - when I saw this slightly poignant scene, at Ham Gate pond.

Still mostly frozen over (your eyes are not deceiving you) there is a child's red, plastic car - calmly parked - in the centre of the iced water.  It goes a small way to show how great the impact of our extended deep freeze has been, in London's outskirts...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Not so PC, BBC...

Oops, did you catch Today with James Naughtie, this morning? You missed a 'beauty'; introducing Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, his words became er, shall we say entangled... with Jeremy's surname taking on a very different (far less BBC) meaning.  Some hilarity (not to say embarrassment) ensued, then to exacerbate (or is that enhance) the situation, the very same error was repeated on Start the Week, when host Andrew Marr -  in conversation with his guests - expressly said that the word must not be mentioned...before proceeding to do so, himself.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Health News of the Week

Yes, I've succumbed and become a twitterer, or is that a tweeter...?  As a side-effect, I've uncovered two notable health stories - over the past few days - and had to pass them on.

For anyone who is considering a Brazilian Blow Dry, you can read my write-up/review for details of the procedure, but you should also take on board an aspect of potential concern, as featured by Dr Weil, before deciding whether to go-ahead with the treatment.

If you're one of the growing number of supplement aficionados, who has been enticed by the research into the wonders of (higher dosage)Vitamin D, consider Harvard Health's learned perspective before you increase your dose...too far.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Weather Moans and a Winter Warmer

Have you ever seen sunny mediterranean natives, jasmine and the olive tree, in the snow?  Here you are: welcome, to my white-blanketed garden!  My poor warm-weather beauties are feeling a little sorry for themselves.  It's still snowing now (third day) and, along with my garden buddies, my energies are depleted as I can't walk my daily 8 miles...  I heard radio reports that all the roads, in my resplendent Richmond Park, are closed today.  I can see no signs of grit on roads in my vicinity - so happy I pay such high Council Tax (ahem...)

Still, last night, I enjoyed my healthy winter warmer of quorn mince, celery, carrot, butternut squash, garlic-infused olive oil, tomato purée, red wine, vecon stock, butter beans and cannellini beans.  Hearty and delicious!  Super- simple and speedy to prepare.  For a generous individual serving use half a pack of quorn mince with - for speed and simplicity - a pack of Marks and Spencer casserole-ready fresh root vegetables with beans.  Place in a deep pan, with 2 teaspoons garlic-infused olive oil, a tablespoon of tomato purée, half a glass of decent red wine, a couple of sprigs fresh thyme, half a cup of soya milk, 2 teaspoons of vecon vegetable concentrate and a large cup of boiling water.  Bring to the boil, then simmer for around 12 minutes, until vegetables are tender.  Serve, as I did, on top of four large (cooked!) pasta shells and accompany with a glass of red, to drink.  A tasty anti-dote to the intemperate weather...

NB If you prefer not to take the 'lazy' route, (or you can't get to an M&S), simply use two good handfuls of the chunked vegetables, listed above, with one handful of pre-cooked beans of your choice, instead.