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    Christmas Eve Eve Afternoon Tea

    We decided with Christmas day being a little hectic (15-16 adults + an assortment of kids) that us ladies would have a wee afternoon tea to chat and catch up.

    We ended up having such a lovely low key day. Bar a few (actual) nightmares the night before (you know, like the ones you have before an important job interview, and you get to the end and realise you forgot to put trousers on?) it was a dream.

    We had looked into the option of being shamelessly spoilt and going out for afternoon tea eg. like this afternoon, but decided it would be easier, better to organise transport-wise and, honestly, cheaper to do it ourselves.

    The Menu?

    Bite-size Sandwiches:

    Egg Mayonnaise & Cress on fresh White Bread

    Chicken & Sweetcorn on fresh White Bread

    Ham, Rocket & Chipotle Sauce on Wholemeal Bread

     

    A variety of Savouries hot from the oven

    (the only real let down was the Ketchup served in Tupperware!)

     

    Cherry Scones with Devonshire Clotted Cream

     

    Jaffa Slice

    Cherry Bakewells, Lemon Sponge Slices, Festive Caramel Slice

    White Chocolate Penguins, After Eight Mints, Snowballs (Marshmallow with a Chocolate shell & Coconut)

    ((Lolly Cake should have made an appearance, but I got a bit creative with the recipe & instead of being a slice, it’s more of an ice-cream topping))

     

    Champagne

    Eggnog

    Cranberry Juice with Mulled Spices – such a beautiful non-alcohol drink – literally get some of the mulling spice bags from your nearby supermarket, and heat the cranberry juice on the stove with the bags steeping. Absoloutely lush – it tastes like it should be alcoholic!

    Tea

     

    

    Written up, it looks like it would be a lot of work, but to be honest we we allowed the supermarket baking companies to help take most of the strain. The drinks and sandwiches took the most work, but with three of us in the kitchen, drinks in hand, it really was a lot of fun. I wanted it to be low-key, and that’s what we got. The developing ‘Foodie’ in me wanted to handmake everything, but by the time we got to this morning, it wasn’t an option.

     

    A lovely, decadent afternoon with some of the loveliest ladies. We opened a couple of pressies with my cousin who is having an Orphans Christmas (with the rest of her Kiwi friends – something that is a London tradition – I can’t wait to see how their Turkey comes out!)

     

    It wasn’t over the top but just the right level of decadence, the conversation flowed, the food came out steadily and the drinks flowed.

     

    Can you tell we enjoyed it by the below ‘after’ pic?

    I hope you are spending some time with your loved ones, either over video chat, with an afternoon tea like the above, or at the Cinema, or just somehow.

     

    I think I need to host more of these next year. Maybe that should be one of my New Years resolutions?

    Right now, dishes to wash. Er, maybe I should reconsider the ‘at home’ business!!

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    The Little Stranger

    This psychological drama was a slow-burning page turner.

    I read this on the recommendation of a fellow blogger – Kit at What a Peach! and I am SO glad I did.

    It’s subtle, delicious and mesmerising. Set just after WW2 in agricultural England, there is something not quite right about the Ayres family mansion. The author keeps you guessing all the way through, and I don’t want to give away any spoilers.

    The Little Stranger: Sarah Waters

    The characters are good, if ever so slightly one-sided but the house almost becomes a character in it’s own right, affecting those around it in so many ways. The lead character Dr Faraday is a local man whose mother worked many years ago in the house as a Nanny. (As I write these words, a strange smell of smoke arises in our home – no wait, that’s the neighbours fireplace – never mind).

    I have to use anothers words to sum this up – Tatiana from Goodreads; “Curious and deliciously ambiguous [in an] enigmatic way”. Utterly perfect description.

    (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. This helps support
    my book addiction, so if you are interested in buying the book, please click
    through the above Book & author link)

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    6 Year Anniversary

    I can’t believe it. This Kiwi flew the coop, and has lived on the other side of the world for 6 years. It’s been an amazing 6 years, hard in places but overall incredible.

    I’ve met my husband, explored many countries, learned a lot and grown up a great deal.

    I’ve missed my family and friends, met some fantastic new people, met some shady characters (a few seemingly straight out of Oliver Twist), developed new circles, learned how small the world is and how much potential there is if you put yourself out there.

    I’ve also learned how to be self-sufficient, then learned to live with an English bloke. I’ve had to re-learn how to say my own name (the English around me struggled with “Ima” so now it’s modulated to almost “Amma”), my ear has re-tuned to the many vagarities of United Kingdom speech and I now know what a monkey is (not necessarily a Chimp, but £500).

    In the last six years, but especially in the last 12 mnths I’ve become fitter, stronger, more experienced and above all more appreciative. I can’t wait to see what the next 6 years brings.


    I know I still have a lot to learn, and there is still a whole world to experience.

    Are you where you thought you would be six years ago?

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    Day Tripper

    Armed with Banana Cake, Betty Crocker’s Icing (as usual I ran out of time to put the icing on the cake) and a SatNav, a friend and I went on a road trip to meet a fellow Kiwi, and cheer the All Blacks to victory against the Scots.

    Although our usual trio was missing our third member, we met a beautiful black Lab, enjoyed the quiet beauty of the English countryside, kinda of ran into Stonehenge, drove through someone’s farm, almost forded a ford and generally wreaked havoc in the English countryside.

    Er, where has the City gone?

    Such a great view (that is when Princes aren’t around…)

    After a gorgeous lunch, with the best Roast Potatoes ever,

    …we settled in for the game. There were some smashing tries, some Lomu-esque running and some hairy All Blacks (quite a few of them getting into the Movember spirit).

    Thankfully my (Edmonds) Banana Cake when down pretty well,

    Accompanied with our lovely hosts’ homemade scones (I’m just sad we were too full from lunch to enjoy them fully)

    Then sadly we were homeward bound, back to the big smoke.

    I’m a day tripper, a one one-way ticket yeah…

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