Monday 22 September 2014

Dear Becky,

First of all, you seem, ON THE OUTSIDE, to be a far far braver mama than I. 

You quite calmly write how your firstborn is off to start his exciting independant life

Having read your blog for yonks ( I know, I said yonks... It's my blog! ) I feel like I've watched him grow into this fine young man ready for anything. ( Not in a stalker way mind. )
I TOTALLY blame the parents. You did a brilliant job.

 I blogged when my firstborn went two years ago. The tears. The tantrums. The histrionics. All mine of course! 
She went back for her third year on the train. All by herself! 

Last night I spent an age and a second mortgage getting train tickets for me n the second born to look round the London School of Finance for his chosen Uni next year. 

If he passes his exams ( he'd better! ) I'll seriously need counselling when he goes!! 

Is it bad then that me and the HG are kinda hoping she stays on at Uni/gets awesome job with mansion included/  instead of coming home next September? That clever almost three year age gap planned second pregnancy actually wasn't that clever at all. To all new prospective parents. Aim for two years max. That way you will be guaranteed a teenage free house for at least the majority of one year!!! 

Of course you will all know I'm joking. I'm dreading the time they finally do flee the nest. 

So Becky, I have a word of warning to your youngest....please be warned that you will be massively over mothered in the next few weeks. You will be cosseted, baked for, loved more! Nows the time to ask for something! 

Love from 
Rachel *been there* Radiostar x 

Sunday 21 September 2014

Barry takes a bath

It's my turn to look after Barry this weekend. ( Barry is the school budgie for those of you who don't know )
He's such a special little bird!
 Plus he matches my garden! Here he is sunning himself. He never shut up chirruping, singing, tutting, squawking, whistling and chatting yesterday. He busied himself mostly flirting heavily with his reflection in the window. He takes himself in and out of his cage at will. Today, I attached his bath for the first time. He immediately clambered across his bars to have a look...then promptly took himself as far away as he possibly could in the corner of his cage. He then alternated his birdy glare betwixt me and the UFO on his cage.  I gave up waiting for him to have a bath and went to put the world to rights with my friend.

I got home to the news that not only had Barry tried his bath out for size, he'd been practically doing the Hokey Cokey with it! My lovely son thought to capture it on video for me, so here you are!
Barry takes a bath! ( doh - video is at the beginning of this post! ) 

Love from 
Rachel *loves Barry* Radiostar

Friday 19 September 2014

I hate these dark mornings.

I cannot seem to stay asleep much longer than 5am these days and I hate, hate, absolutely hate these dark mornings. In the Summer months ( technically I'm STILL in Summer till the 21st September! ) I get up, set to, put the wash on etc etc but I don't feel like it can do this when it's dark!

I started this post on Monday, I still stand by every word, though today ( Saturday ) I managed a lie in till 5.30am! 

I'm still loving my job two weeks in. Highlight of my week was helping a child with some column subtraction using the base ten equipment and seeing their 'lightbulb' moment. Yesterday I baked before work, making the use of my pre dawn insomnia. I had another go at the rhubarb and custard cakes. The little cardboard cupcake cases are so sweet. 

Today I will be trying out my new Dariole moulds on some fancy pants cheese muffins. I have sooooo much baking equipment/paraphanalia and soooooo little time. 

Oh no, I just realised it's technically the last day of Summer tomorrow. Harrumph! 
I wish it was certainly the last day of Sodding Spider Season. This year seems to be far worse than last. The ones in my house are MASSIVE and I'm not even exaggerating. The last one even HISSED at me*. The one in the hall is the fading star of Stephen King's IT. 

Look! Hideous Beasts. I'm not scared or owt, I simply just DO NOT LIKE THEM. I read a blog yesterday that they do not like mint, lavender and tomato leaves. Or conkers. I think this is a lie. I've witnessed Spider Activity in a green house before AND I once had a bowl of conkers on the table that my cherubs collected years ago that had a spider living in it. 

Another reason for my Shudderation at Spiders is that I can now SEE them more clearly. I may have been behaving like a brat about it but I've just had my first pair of glasses. I blame my right eye. It's rugby ball shaped and makes things fuzzy in the distance. This annoys me. So I went to be tested. The nice man put contact lenses in for me to try. I knew, as he was looming towards me with a little disc of jelly on his finger, that I wouldn't like them. He popped them in. Immediately my eyes tried to rid themselves of the foreign body in them. I was  then sent squinting, blinking, winking, eyes streaming into the shop front to try to find some frames to suit! I tried on EVERY pair in there. From the cheap WHY DO YOU NOT SUIT ME frames to the OMG ARE YOU MADE OUT OF SOLID GOLD LOOK AT THE PRICE frames. 

The shop lady was very helpful and patient - though I bet that was only on the outside, I bet she was more than willing to slap me! ), then a work chum popped in and helped too with the trying on process!  Finally I narrowed it down to the only two pairs in the shop that didn't make me look like  Dame Edna Everage and a couple of pairs of sunglasses. I had a voucher for a free eye test and £50 off my frames. Win. I also had a voucher I could have given to a friend, but the shop lady allowed me to use it against one of the pairs of sunglasses. THEN as I actually knew the shop lady, she gave me her staff 50% discount off my second pair of sunglasses.  Again, I am such a brat! They were ready a few days later. Ooooo I did not like it when I put them on. Everything went fuzzy for a millisecond and I felt swimmy. I felt like I was taking giant steps as I walked in them. As I looked around I felt like my eyes were to slow to catch up to get the image into focus. Now I'm used to them it is a bit like switching to a HD channel on the telly! 
Rare photo of me on my blog folks 
LOOK AT MY WRINKLY EYES. I can SEE these wrinkles now. I am displeased about this. 

HOWEVER, all of the above is NOTHING to what it must be like for Harry. Being held down to have stinging eye drops put in. To have a teeny bit of peripheral vision in one eye only. I would sell my soul to the devil for him to have my prescription. 

Well, the sun is finally up and I need a cup of tea. I love Saturdays :-) 
What are you doing today? 

Oh and thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. To 'Mum', just incase you miss my reply to your comment on FSG Curry, I'd add the curry powder in with the wet ingredients and it'll be fine! X 

Bye for now lovelies 
Rachel *Cheesy Muffin Face* Radiostar! And my houseguest. Xxx

Sunday 14 September 2014

FSG Chicken Curry

This recipe has been asked for from my friends to use to impress their men! Every single time they tell me it worked! It's also the first curry recipe I've shown my soon to be at Uni next September son. He can be the fussiest brat on the planet when it comes to food. But he ate the lot!   I call it my Filthy Sexy Gorgeous Chicken curry.  It's silky, tasty, and divine. The mouthfeel is wonderous. It's based on one of the HB Fakeaways from book one of theirs. As ever, my recipes are also a bit chuck it  in n see. So if you want to try it with different meat or veg, do!  Serves 4 hungry people. 

Here's what you will need. 
Chicken - thighs or breast chopped into chunks
1 400ml tin coconut milk ( low fat is just as good but full fat is OMGFSG! )
2 med onions - chopped as you like em
1 yellow/red/orange pepper ( or what you have ) sliced into chunky slices
1 tablespoon fish sauce ( don't fret if you've none )
3/4 pint stock
3-4 good handfuls dessicated coconut ( gives it an extra coconutty dimension ) ( if I had ground almonds in I'd chuck a handful in too! ) 
Curry paste of your choice - I use 1.5tblspoon korma and 1.5taespoon tikka
Spinach - I use 6 frozen balls 
Herbs if you can be arsed. It doesn't need them really. 
1 tablespoon cornflour
Double cream for a drizzle of extra FSG. 

Right here's what I do. 
Heat a splash of oil in a LARGE deep sided frying pan ( this recipe makes a LOT ) and then fry your chopped onion and the curry pastes for up to 5 minutes. Then add your chicken and fry on med - high heat so it doesn't stew, till golden stirring quite a lot. You do not want to let your curry paste/onion mix to burn. 
Next pour in the coconut milk, then use the stock to rinse out the coconut tin and add this too. Stir. Chuck in the peppers. The fish sauce goes in , add your dessicated coconut then let it bubble for ten minutes. I don't bother with a lid. I'm trying to think if I've remembered everything! After ten minutes you can add the spinach ( I'd add fresh spinach 1-2 minutes before you serve ) 
Mix your cornflour with a dribble or two of cold water to slake it! Make sure your curry is bubbling and then stir in, bit by bit - it will thicken very quickly so judge it 
to how you like it. Cook it out for 3-4 minutes. It's now ready. For super FSG add a swirl of double cream and sprinkle with your fresh herbs! TA DAHHHHHH! 
I serve it with basmati rice - I manage to get it right Everytime somehow! I never rinse it. I fill a large pan with cold water, add a good pinch flaked sea salt. Chuck in my basmati rice. Stir three times clockwise with a fork ( I'm not kidding ) and leave to boil away for 10-15 minutes. If it's almost done and the water has almost gone, I take it off the heat n put a lid on it. If it's almost done and there's a lot of water left ( I never measure ) simply tip away most of the water then put a lid on it. I do my 'put a lid on it ' with the rice about the same time as the cornflour bit in the sauce. 
I also serve warm naan breads to mop up the last of the curry off the plate. 

So, next time you fancy something good, try a bit of Filthy Sexy Gorgeous!!! 

Love from 

Rachel *chuck it in n see* Radiostar xx 

Saturday 13 September 2014

Relatively pain free.

My first full week back at work that is. I'm in a new year group with a new teacher, in a new classroom. And with a fantastic set of kids. The posh word is cohort. And I started a sentence with and! Heinous crimes.

I had an opportunity to work with a small group of boys and I posed the question to them all.
How are you feeling about being in Yn ?
One commented that he felt a lot more grown up. Another spoke of the fact the work was easier and that made him happy. The new behaviour management system was mentioned by a couple to be a positive thing. The next boy replied
" I feel like I've been transported from the alien planet of paradise."

I fixed him with my best ' oh really???' Look and said
" Now can I have your reality answer?"

He turned to me, and with a confused expression replied,

"Nah! that is my real answer."

Indeed folks, it actually was.

He takes me back to the days of Eyebrows Boy. Remember him? I wrote about him long ago in this blog.
He was the one who told me earnestly that he could infact create static electricity with his eyebrows!

I love my job!

What's the best part of your job?

Rachel *Glad it's the weekend* Radiostar!

Friday 5 September 2014

Two day week

I could get used to them! However, my bills etc couldn't!

Yesterday I was very overly dramatic with my  whining about my loss of freedom! I do actually love my job. There was the information overload of the first staff meeting. Then there was time in classrooms. We needed that time! It's still not finished. I've dreamt about it all night and it was the first thing I thought of when I woke up out an hour ago. It is still only 6.30am ish now!! I'm going to get up shortly and go in early!

The Uni one returned for her third year yesterday. The teenage one had his fourth driving lesson and had his girlfriend round. The HG had been fishing. Thankfully NOT bringing anything home for the pot!

Tea was a very easy affair from the freezer. I managed half a crossword before having to go to bed thoroughly shattered !

The boy polished off the last of my Rhubarb and Custard flavoured fairy buns. They were really easy to make. I've got these little flavouring essences from Lakeland that you use instead of the usual vanilla.
I think I was a little conservative as there is only a slight hint of the flavours, but I was pleased how they turned out.
 They've all gone now! The sponge was delicious. I actually turned off the fan  on my fan oven and they turned out grand! 

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. So you all know who I'll be dedicating this to! 
I just love him so much x 

Love from
Rachel *back to school* Radiostar xx 

Thursday 4 September 2014

Loss of freedom

I'm back at work today. Sigh. 

Love from 
Rachel *works hard for a living* Radiostar

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Monday 1 September 2014

Forests, Hot tubs and Glow worms

( Arty farty tree shot on one of the forest walks ) 
Hello folks, how are you all?

I'm soooooooo relaxed and chilled after we came back from our holiday yesterday.  We spent a magical week away from civilisation, wifi, mobile signal and stress. I have just written my very first trip advisor essay on it!

Now as you know, Wales is always my Holiday destination of choice, however this year we ventured to the Far East to the glorious North Yorkshire Moors.

~ Pause for a mini rant to all those people who say " You could've/should've gone abroad for that...... Etc " my answer is always always I DO NOT WANT TO GO ABROAD.  ~ mini rant over ~

 Anyway here is my review Trip Advisor - please ignore the two mistakes; we didn't have an ensure bathroom - it was of course ensuite! Also I wrote ' I fact not 'in fact'. I'm sure there's a way I can get back in to edit but I've not figured it out yet! My first trip adviser review!

I'm not going to repeat it all but say we had a fabulous time. The weather was kind and we are now suffering from dreadful Hot Tub Withdrawal symptoms.

I will share a few photos though. Of course I've been exploring the ruins! You know what I'm like for Castles and the like! This time, thanks to my fascination with the box set of the Tudors that I've been working my way through during the big holidays ( time very well spent!! ) l targeted a few Abbeys that King Henry Viii brought down!  ( I'm down to the last four episodes now and I'm getting a bit panicky and bereft! )

Anyway here you are...
View from the car on the way there.

Henry Tudor broke this Abbey.

View from the top of Scarborough
Scarborough Castle
Spongebob Strawpants.
 The not very intellectual game of scrabble me v the boy. I beat him, even after allowing him the dodgy 'biles' !
Glorious Whitby Abbey
Who needs to go abroad? 
Best part of the holiday.
Magical Forest Walk
More ruined castle moments. The moment wasn't ruined. The castle was! 
Atmospheric journey home. 

There you go, a few snapshots. 
Things I saw in the wild included REAL glow worms, a Jay, Roedeer, a mole, birds of prey, hares, rabbits, and lots of birds I don't see everyday like woodpeckers. 

Where have you been this summer?  

Love from 
Rachel *Holidayblissface* Radiostar xx