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    Lurking through the internet (where to find the London Kiwi Adventures)

    Adventures of a London Kiwi is branching out into Social Media. Well, selectively! I’ve always been a big blog reader, but since starting the blog, I’ve discovered and become addicted to reading & discovering new blogs through a few different social media platforms.

    (Here’s a cute picture of our beast to reward you reading a probably fairly boring post!)

    I thought I’d share them because I’d like to get to know you, and I also wanted to pass on the internet sites I’ve found helpful.

    Click Me to add me on Twitter

    This is an addiction I can’t seem to shake off – I’d love to hear from you! There is something great about being able to pick up the random world at the touch of the finger tips, though it’s a definately a time sucker. I’ve also been able to meet a couple of lovely ladies in the real world and it’s brilliant. It’s a good tool though – the stories that have come from the immediacy of Twitter – take NeverSeconds for example.

    Click Me to add me to your BlogLovin’

     

    Bloglovin’ is really helping me keep all of the blogs I read in manageable order – which says a lot as there are so many interesting ones. I like the fact that blog posts can be marked as read or unread,you can search full blogs or single

     

    Click Me to add me to your Google Plus

    Google+ and I are becoming friends, slowly but surely. It’s not quite as easy to pick up as Twitter/Bloglovin’ but allows you to do both of the above and branch out and meet other bloggers.

    Click Me to add to GoodReads

    This site bad. And by bad I mean good, but bad for my bank balance (and the hubby reckons the Amazon rainforest!) as it keeps sending me recommendation for new great authors and books.

    I’m also a fledgling member of Foodies100, a great resource rounding up the top UK Foodie blogs. I’m always amazed by the length and breadth of variety in blogs. It’s fascinating to see how creative everyone is.

    I’ve not been comped by any of the above companies – just wanted to share the love!

    Where do you prefer to read/keep up to date with blogs?

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    On The Road – Reading Recommendation

    One of the classic cult books, this is one on everyones ‘ultimate reading list’. I have to admit I only picked it up initially after a good friend of mine started some of the Route 66 journey that Jack is synonomous with, after hearing so much about the book. When it was released in 1957, The New York Times hailed it as “the most beautifully executed, the clearest and the most important utterance yet made by the generation Kerouac himself named years ago as ‘beat,’ and whose principal avatar he is.”

    It’s a book I think you need to have context with to appreciate – the first time I didn’t, and I only lasted 2 chapters before putting it down. Jack Kerouac took 2-3 years to dream the novel up in small notebooks, chopping and changing it, but 3 weeks to type the novel out on a 120ft scroll in an almost ‘stream of consiousness’ style, as it he was writing a letter to a friend. See the succint Wikipedia article for insight into the context.

    The second time I picked the novel up, I must have matured a bit more (much like with Terry Pratchett novels), because the rolling, almost fluid style became a lot easier to take in, and seemed to portray the ‘fierce quest for meaning and belonging’ in such a raw way. It certainly does make you want to jump in a car with $50 and a compass, a good friend (definately not Dean Moriarty though) and cruise up Route 66.

    It does feel fairly ‘stop and start’ in places, but that’s life – “Somewhere along the line I knew there would be girls, visions, everything; somewhere along the line the pearl would be handed to me.” and that’s their journey. It deals with youth, marriage, drinking, working – all the stalwarts. BUT it is a classic for a reason, and the way that Jack deals with his ‘itchy feet’ and being unable to put down roots, not settling into the 9-5 doldrums which appealed to me. It’s a intense case of Donkey on the Edge – but if some travellers look into why they travel to far away lands on the other side of the world, it may resonate with Sal’s (the main character) needs.

    The reason behind picking it up again is two-fold; I stumbled across an exhibition in the British Museum of the actual scroll, and a movie of On The Road is coming out very soon.

    On the Road: Jack Kerouac

    Did I love it? Not sure. It felt too fragmented in places. I may have to pick it up again in a few years – preferably in a car, with $50 on Route 66!

    (Please note any links to Amazon are through my Amazon Associates account, which means I make a little money (less than 5%) from any purchases made after clicking through these links but it doesn’t add any cost to your purchase. This helps support my book addiction, so if you are interested in buying the book, please click through the top link)

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    Living London: The British Library

    If, dear blog reader, you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, first of all Thank You. Secondly it’s probably fairly obvious that I’m a bookworm. The other day I wandered into the English book mecca – the British Library. According to the official website, you can explore 14 million books, 920,000 journal and newspaper titles, 58 million patents, 3 million sound recordings, and much more. Find what you need – in the arts and humanities, sciences, or any subject.

    It’s a cool building in itself, full of nooks and crannies, small tables, cafes and the ubiquitous gift shop. It’s made up of a large foyer and several levels of cafes, labs and reading rooms, all surrounding a central column of protected texts which only the librarians have access to, but makes the most impressive bookshelves I think I’ve ever seen.

    They are always having exhibitons of their books and manuscripts too, at the time of writing, hosting the Jack Kerouac, On The Road scroll… (stay tuned tomorrow folks)

    The British Library is absoloutely free (except the tempting cafes may rip a hole in your pocket) and if you have a specific research subjet you can register as a reader to use the rooms. Hundreds of student haunt the library – it’s quiet and if you can grab a table, you can plug your laptop in & use the WiFi.

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    Creamy Pumpkin, Chestnut & Bacon Pasta

    Perfect for an Autumn night, this dish is quick and light, but refreshing and filling – and not too bad on the calorie front. Chestnut is something that doesn’t seem to be used a great deal, seen as a gourmet ingredient, but I really enjoy the taste of it and quite often pick up the vaccum-packed boxes. It makes a scumptious Turkey, Leek and Chestnut Pie (a post-Christmas Jamie Oliver recipe I think) and can be really interesting in fruit cakes in lieu of walnuts, and strudel. Not that I’ve ever been brave enough to make Strudel!

    My recipe is based on an old family recipe and made its public debut with my July Foodie Penpal Alice who writes at Alice Can’t Cook.

    Nb: you’ll have noticed the photo has no Pumpkin in it, as I didn’t have any on hand so I substituted peas. Any vege you have in the cupboard can be used, I quite like it with courgette.

    Creamy Pumpkin, Chestnut & Bason Pasta

    Ingredients:

    250g pasta

    1 small Red Onion, finely chopped

    1 cup Roasted Butternut Squash pureed (takes about 40mins in the oven & can be done beforehand)

    ½ cup milk

    1 tsp mixed herbs

    ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper

    Salt to taste

    A generous grating of fresh nutmeg

    40g low fat cream cheese

    4 Rashers of Bacon

    100g ready to eat chestnuts, crumbled (save a few to garnish)

    2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped (save a little bit to garnish)

    1. Cook the pasta per directions on package, drain and set aside.

    2. While the pasta is cooking, over medium heat, cook the onion in a non-stick skillet until translucent

    3. To the Onion, add the pumpkin puree, milk, water, salted herbs, black pepper and nutmeg.

    4. Stir to combine, lower heat and simmer for about 5 minutes

    5. Add cream cheese and chestnuts and stir until cheese is melted.

    6. Toss in pasta, bacon and fresh basil and stir to combine.

    7. Serve immediately or cooled the next day, garnished with crumbled chestnuts and basil. serves 2.

    *Diced browned Chicken or Turkey in lieu of the bacon stirred through would be lovely with this meal to ‘meatify’ it up.

    Do you have a ‘gourmet’ ingrediant that you like to level up your weekday dinners with? Cilantro, Goats Cheese, Pomegranate?

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    London Living: Clerkenwell/Islington History Walks

    Lenin, cops in wardrobes, Olive Cromwell, hangings, Tudor gates and the St John Headquarters. Who would have thought that the Clerkenwell/Islington area has such a grisly past?

    With an afternoon to spare, and my usual partners in crime holed up in various pubs and whatnot I decided to enjoy the blue skies and check out what was happening in London. It’s the best city in the World. Hands-down. The only problem was deciding what to do.

    A walking tour won, and Islington appealed to me, as it’s somewhere I have worked (temp-ing when I first got to the UK) but not really explored properly.

    Who’d have thought that such an innocent looking house housed Lenin?

    Some incidental Church gazing

    A house of dentention which led to the last hanging in England (now rebuilt into luxury flats)

    Islington’s answer to the Flat Iron building in New York

    Southgate, head of the St John’s headquarters

    … and for randomness, Janet Street-Porters old house. Designed by an architect friend of hers, it’s certainly very interesting.

    Our tour guide around Clerkenwell/Islington area was really interesting, clearly passionate and I loved all of the interesting facts contained behind closed doors. It’s a shame classroom history lessons aren’t as interesting and hands-on!

    We were also passed by a horde of people dressed as PowerRangers. I do love London.

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