29 Apr 2011

Hestia and...The Royal Wedding Tea Party

My cupcakes, my cupcakes!!!!
My girlfriend, Calynn, is a wonderful hostess.  She organises weddings and miscellaneous parties and so I was delighted to be invited to a Royal Wedding Tea Party  'hats compulsory'.  This is after all, the Duke of Rothesay's Scottish seat (Chuck is not called The Prince of Wales when he comes north, but the Duke of Rothesay).  Calynn would not let this day go unmarked in this town of NO STREET PARTIES.....

Hestia's....Royal Wedding cupcakes

'An expensive mixer does not a brilliant baker make' - Hestia
I was determined that THIS baking project would go off without a hitch.

I made sure that I had everything bought in - union flag cupcake holders, union flag sugar discs, red white and blue sugar beads, lemon icing sugar, opalescent edible glitter....even patriotic whirly gigs.  I even factored in my usual 6 hour baking shift.  What I didn't factor in was just how dreadfully bad I am at baking.

28 Apr 2011

Hestia..... muses over the Royal Wedding Dress

I wonder what Kate will wear tomorrow? Whatever it is, she's such a pretty girl that it will need to be truly dreadful to make her look bad.  Dear Reader, gird your loins, I am about to attempt a Fashion Blog post.  Sort of.

23 Apr 2011

Hestia loves Ottolenghi's Cauliflower fritters

Outdoor food photography - my talents are many
Trying to get Sonshine to eat anything of a vegetable-type nature is an endless quest to successfully disguise roots and froots:  He hates tomatoes (but loves tomato sauce).  He hates mushrooms for their flavour and texture.  I can understand the thing about tomatoes; I don't think I voluntarily ate a raw one until I was about 16.

Anyway, we came across the recipe for Cauliflower and Cumin fritters with lime yoghurt and, since it passed the Random Ingredients Test....Mr Ottolenghi's dish has become a firm favourite in our house.  Even with the wind thing afterwards....

20 Apr 2011

Hestia gets into some Bad Company

Bring that middle-aged Domestic Goddess to my dressing room, NOW!
Classic Rock magazine once started a review of Paul Rogers with the words, "Like good wine and bad women, the holy voice of Paul Rodgers gets richer with age."

And it's no lie - the man's voice is like honey rolling over hot coals.

I'd bought the tickets ages ago, well, B and C had bought my tickets ages ago, but sadly Tartarus shipped out to Mexico on the day of the gig and we could not get the ticket sold.  So we had the most expensive coat and handbag depository in the country last night!

18 Apr 2011

Hestia...has a date ;-)

Who's your dreamy doctor?
The letter from the hospital has arrived. I am to be parted from my gall bladder forever on Thursday 12 May.  Of course, Tartarus will be deep in the bowels of his Mexican engine room at that point and so....ladies and gentlemen.....my mother and not-my-boyfriend-Ron will be looking after me and Sonshine until I'm back on my feet.

Hide the kitchen knives! :-)

15 Apr 2011

Hestia.....and the differences between us

Guess which bedside cabinet belongs to Tartarus and which one belongs to me?

Now you have a greater understanding of just why he gets quite frustrated with me on the tidiness stakes. Put it this way, I daren't take a picture of my cabinet with the door open.  I would DIE of book-related shame......oh the squalor! the piles and heaps of things that were due back at the library WEEKS ago....

What about your own bedside cabinets? What could they tell me about you?

Have a super weekend, dear reader ;-D

12 Apr 2011

Hestia ventures into the garden

Flat caps and string - time to get gardening

The greenhouse has been cleaned (well, the dead things have been quietly taken out and burned) the spore-ridden remnants of ancient dessicated tomato plants cracked into pieces and stuffed into bin bags and today was the day that I decided to venture into the Garden Itself.

The garden is huge.  It's the sort of garden that you never actually get to sit down and enjoy because you've always got something to do.  Tartarus is slowly concreting it all to hell.  Our latest addition is a 'covered BBQ area'.  This is how he refers to it when talking to me.  It's the ' new car port' to everyone else.  But he knew I'd never agree to a car port.

10 Apr 2011

Hestia...and Tartarus's birthday

Hestia with her new leggings
It began on Friday.  Tartarus went off to the memorial gig for our friend Jim who died rather suddenly a month or so ago.  It was a sort of blue-grass night, where they did covers of all Jim's favourite songs - whether they were by the Doors, Dr Feelgood or Donny Osmond.  Only kidding about the Donny Osmond.  Even so, it was quite an eclectic evening by all accounts.

9 Apr 2011

Hestia....gets a Liebster Award

Thank you so much to Perdita's Pursuits for giving Hestia this exceptionally cute little award which is for blogs with under 300 followers.

It makes me insanely happy to receive these little logos.

The rules of the award are that you should pass the award on to a handful of blogs with under 300 followers and provide a link back to the person who awarded it to you.

Before I start, I have to say that some of you don't have a gizmo that lets me see how many followers you have, so those blogs weren't counted.  Anyway, I now have my long frock on and my tiara pinned in place:

I award this ultra-sweet little logo to these other blogs which have under 300 followers:

Legend in his own lunchtime


How The Hell Does This Work

4 A Girl's Guide to Turning 50

5  Why Miss Jones

6  Trashsparkle 

I would also make special mention of Tired Dad whose blog has reduced me to tears today.  He usually makes me pee myself laughing - do read him!

Finally, I would strongly recommend that you take a peek at the Blogging Gods on the right of m'blog, they're all great and worth reading ;-)

Thank you very much again to Perdita for the award :-)

Ali x

8 Apr 2011

Hestia's....own Ape House

Word of warning - Edinburgh zoo is on a VERY steep hill and by the time you are halfway up, and you're a 'little' unfit like me, you'll be praying for an iron lung, new calf muscles and a chance to sit down.

7 Apr 2011

Hestia...... and Edinburgh (in pictures)

Carnaptious menfolk and sulky moments aside.  Edinburgh was great.  Here it is:

The lounge, as styled by Sonshine (and Big Bunny)
Flat was £85 per night and included secure underground parking.

Sonshine's twin room - it was never as tidy as this again for the duration of our sojourn

The bedroom of a Domestic Goddess - ours never looked this tidy again either actually.

Another angle - includes en suite door and wardrobes - bed was massive - 2 singles 'zipped' together.
Strongly recommend it for an uninterrupted night's kip
The view.  Yeah, ignore the electricity box things and urban wasteland in foreground.
Large blue boat thing in distance is The Royal Yacht Britannia

Edinburgh zoo - sealion - a guy who doesn't give a fuck about his weight.  The sealion, that is.
I may have been the only person in the zoo thinking that this bird would make a lovely hat.

[ family photo removed - explanation of which in next blog post]

Family photo - take a good look - that's as close to a smile as you are going to get off Tartarus and is the only photo that I can leave up here for a few days.

Unbelievably, up at the top of the zoo, we bumped into one of Sonshine's teachers and her family.
It's a small world.  Well, a very small country at any rate.

Four adorable little squirrel monkeys all having a kip.  I have memories of being snapped in Scarborough by a street photographer who had one of these little guys.  It was a long time ago and I didn't know it was cruel *innocent child face*
All queued up to watch the penguin parade.  There were only 4 penguins in it as the others are all sitting on eggs and squirting shit at each other.  I took a film.  Very short.  Must see how to load it up.....
Spotted this firm of lawyers in the Grassmarket.  Loved the name :-)  Am hoping that the lawyer's first name is Verity ;-)

Sonshine models his waggly tooth (note: now out!)
Mercifully a bogle-free nose (highly unusual)

Edinburgh panorama from Castle Ramparts - right above the Dog Cemetery. 
Honestly - so windy it blew the earring right out of my ear.

Getting ready to set off the 1 0'clock Gun.  Sonshine nearly shit himself when it boomed out.
Was hugely disappointed to learn that no live ammo is used 
in this daily time-keeping ritual in Edinburgh. 
Might I suggest that if they DO start using live ammo, they aim the gun at the Edinburgh Parliament?

Sonshine and Hestia get on their knees in St Margaret's Chapel at the Castle and wonder whether they could nick the silver.

So now we're back home and it already seems like a dream 
(albeit one with a couple of nightmarish sections)

6 Apr 2011

Hestia...does the silent treatment

Everything was going pretty well until we started the brief drive back from Edinburgh Zoo to Leith docks, where we are currently residing.  Tartarus had forgotten to pack the map and pretty soon we were zooming into Edinburgh city centre - which, if you've been trying to drive in Edinburgh recently is Not Where You Really Want To Be.

'Look - there's a couple of mounted police,' said I pointing at, erm, two mounted police officers.

'I don't need directions,' snapped Tartarus, bumping the car down yet another narrow cobbled lane to no-where.

We drove around aimlessly for a good 10 minutes with Edinburgh Castle variously on my left and right. There were no signs for Leith.  We could be on our way to Berwick Upon Tweed, I thought angrily.  No offence to Berwick Upon Tweed.

As we drove down the Ferry Road for the third time, Tartarus agreed that once the traffic lights had changed, he would pull into the garage over the road and get directions.  The lights changed and Tartarus zoomed past the garage.  I pointed at the garage, mouth gawping noiselessly.

'If we had a sat nav, this would not be happening,' he seethed.

'If you'd put in the bloody map this wouldn't be happening either,' I snapped back.

'What about over here?' I suggested, pointing to an as yet unexplored road.

'Look, I KNOW WHAT I'M DOING,' he bellowed.

'See when you're in Hollan with R in June, I hope you're as fucking unpleasant to him as you are to me when you're lost,' I  shouted back.

Sonshine sat quietly in the back of the car.

This was not how I envisaged things in my life.  I decided that since any comment I made was being met with thinly disguised contempt.  OK, not even thinly disguised contempt.  I would just shut up.

I shut up for hours.  Long after we found our way home.  Long after we went out for an early dinner.  I just lost interest in trying to make everything nice.

Reader, I discovered that I couldn't be bothered to drag myself out of it.

And the worse thing? Neither Tartarus nor Sonshine realised that I wasn't even talking.

3 Apr 2011

Hestia ...and Mothers' Day

OK - I'm never very sure whether it's Mother's Day or Mothers' Day....so I'll just go for Mothering Sunday instead and avoid any apostrophe apoplexy.

I wondered what I might receive from my permently cash-strapped son.....

This morning a beautiful little card was delivered.  Along with a huge box.  The huge box turned out to be from Amazon.  It also turned out to house the Nigel Slater 'Tender' book that I'd bought.  FOR MYSELF. with my OWN CREDIT CARD....but which Sonshine had craftily intercepted from the postie.  And passed off as his own present.

He is his father's son.

PS - have also collected the gorgeous Artisan Kitchenaid mixer in fire-engine red from Frasers in Glasgow today too. So that goes a little towards assuaging my Nigel Slater book-napping moment.

Hope you're all having a lovely day :-)

1 Apr 2011

Hestia undertakes...the handwriting challenge

As completed by Christina and Fanny Pinkleton


  • Your name
  • Your url
  • The quick yada, yada, yada
  • Your favourite quote
  • Favourite track
  • And something else......
Note - I doodle on everything - there is a doodle for a client's website and also an eye that I doodled whilst my mum told me about her recent holiday with not-my-boyfriend-Ron.

Explore the ruined citadel of m'blog: