Christmas shop hopping till you drop!!

I went Christmas shopping at the Westfield Shopping Centre for the very first time with my 10 year old Little Princess today, and what an experience!

Westfield London site photography.

Designer, exclusive and popular stores galore.  Christmas lights, decked halls and Christmas crooning all around. Champagne flutes, chocolate covered pretzels and gleaming crispy creams of my dreams. I was in my element.

xmas-food

I have never seen so many shops all under one roof.  It was amazing, and I’m glad to say, I’ve still got it.  My Little princess ran out of steam a long time before me.  I could have shopped, hopped and scoffed the whole day.  Those young ones, just aren’t made of the same stuff are they?

Peanuts Yawn

I think an early night is on the cards for the Little Princess tonight.  Don’t you?

Control You? …. Never!!

I’m up and about and feeling just a little better, shame the Vicks Vapour Rub still has to continue as an unfortunate companion.

My husband has been a treasure, fumbling around in the kitchen, starving himself up to the point when he has no choice but to attempt to feed himself.  His efforts were actually very tasty, even though I suffered with continuous questions such as, “how do I do this?” and “how do I do that?”  It was all worth it.

If I’m honest, I am a bit of a control freak and do like things done my way and done by ME, even though I know it’s to my benefit to be done for me.  I admit it, I know. I’m annoying!  At least I admit it, unlike most.

Now go and make me a cup of tea!

A Fish Supper

I am having what’s described as a fish supper tonight.  A very traditional British meal of fish and chips, laced with lashings of malty vinegar and an unhealthy measure of salt.

We don’t have this meal very often, due to the amount of frying involved, but I am happy to indulge tonight.  I remember, as a child, the fish and chips being wrapped in newspaper, the traditional packaging, but since then we have learnt the benefits of plain paper packaging,  All the same they taste wonderful.

Yummy Tummy!

A lovely afternoon was had by all today.  Once again, London basked, though it was touch and go in the morning, and we had a family lunch in a lovely local restaurant.

We enjoyed succulent tasty chicken, light flavoured and beautifully moist, which was followed by the most luxurious, creamy, caramel cheesecake I have ever tasted.  I am so glad I ordered the salad as a side dish, and didn’t succumb to eating any fries, to indulge and enjoy total guilt free bliss whilst eating every morsel of cheesecake heaven.

Mmmm! … I really fancy something sweet, or do I?

There are times when only something sweet will do.  I confess that I have quite a sweet tooth, OK, I admit it, a caramalised fang!  As a kid growing up I would always dream of dessert and regret dinner.  Nothing has really changed.  As an adult, and now as a mother I have learned to cook many culinary delights in my kitchen, but would quite happily skip it and move on to mmmm …. cherry pie.

I remember as a child at the dinner table, my Mum would have slaved over a steaming hot stove and prepared a delight, I obviously would have already decided, I did not want!

It might have been something exotic such as sweet spicy caribbean chicken bathed in a glistening sticky sauce, alongside a bed of red rice stained by the juice of rich creamy kidney beans, with a side order of summer salad with brightly coloured sliced peppers and a kick of cayenne, or fish fingers and chips.  Either way, I DIDN’T WANT IT!

All things considered, as a kid I was as thin as a rake, not unlike my elder brother, who was also as thin as a rake, but he had an enormous appetite.  We would always ensure to sit side by side at the dinner table.  The sole purpose of this pact was to ensure he was near enough to toss food from my plate to his without discovery from Mum.

Unfortunately, I was left to my own devices when he was out at one of his many sporting pursuits, such as football, then I was on my own so had to think of a way to rid myself of the unwanted meal.  So I would result to filling my cheeks!  Yes, just like a hamster, as I was often called after my sister when she discovered my trusted method.   I always had round full cheeks as a child, so you couldn’t really tell the difference, it worked wonders.  Mum was never the wiser and I would discard the contents when she wasn’t aware.  Go on, admit it, you have done it too!

I have since confessed this to her, and she gave me a look that brought me right back in time to sitting at the kitchen table again, aged eight years old.  Mums can do that kinda thing.

It’s amazing, thinking back today I would love to sit and eat that whole plate of sweet spicy caribbean chicken bathed in a glistening sticky sauce, alongside a bed of red rice stained by the juice of rich creamy kidney beans, with a side order of summer salad with brightly coloured sliced peppers and a kick of cayenne.  I certainly would appreciate it a whole lot more now. preferably sitting in a beach front restaurant in beautiful Anguilla.

There’s no pleasing me.

I have noticed something, it really doesn’t matter if the weather is gloriously sunny outside and people are walking about in flip-flops and vest tops, or if it’s raining cats and dogs and people are sheltering, huddled in doorways amongst the cigarette butts. There’s no pleasing me. Though, I have realised why!  Simple, because I am not in Anguilla.  I just have levels of misery, my frowning and sighing have become an art form.

During the beautiful sunny days in London, speaking of which today has been absolutely wonderful, it’s not so bad at all, but it’s still not enough.

I just ache and moan that I am not swimming in the crystal clear Caribbean seas of Sint Maarten Saint Martin, or salivating at the numerous fresh sea food and tangy meat restaurants, or watching the sunsets from the beach at Little Bay, in Anguilla, but I do appreciate the weather today is more than compensating for the fact I am not there.  I also have that anxious feeling of don’t waste it – must do something with the day, because it won’t last.

On the other hand, when the days are dismal, cold and dark and the heavens open, and falling raindrops in the form of huge, heavy blobs, pound your head making visibilty from your spectacles non existent, the dream of the Caribbean continues in ernest, but with more desperation.

I frown, sigh and agree, yes, there really is no pleasing me, until I get the ticket, that is!!

Stuck in the TV soap sud mud

Isn’t it strange how I didn’t miss TV of any description when we lived in Cyprus, but here in London, I feel as though I miss out on all the neighbourhood gossip in TV soap land if I forget to watch Eastenders or Coronation Street.  We would spend many evenings sitting on the balcony watching the sunset and didn’t really care what was on Cyprus TV (even though we did have some english speaking channels).  I believe it all has to do with the weather.

Cyprus enjoys over 300 days of sunshine a year, so we had more of an outdoor lifestyle. The children’s school day began at 7am and ended at 1pm, so quite often afternoons were spent enjoying fun picnics at the beach.

Garden barbeques were another favourite or tending my large vegetable patch, with various fruit and olive trees, as well as feeding our farm animals which included chickens, rabbits and our lovely baby goat Lola, who would answer “baa” whenever I, and only I, called her name.

However, we did at one stage have a particularly wet winter.  This was always welcome by the locals as the summers were always hot and dry, and fears of a drought were always the hot topic of conversation.

Anyway, as I was saying, this particular winter, we craved a little comfort and watched four, yes four, of the Harry Potter films in succession, wrapped in blankets in front of the log fire.  I have to say even though I absolutely loved the hot, sunny days on the beach and the fish meze dishes at the seaside restaurants, this memory stays with me, as a warm moment in my life.  A creature comfort!!