London 3 times and a bikini

Oh hello ? It’s been a while… 3 years to be exact.  Is anyone still here? I keep meaning to blog but life just happens, lots happens!  I’m not going to go over the last 3 years. It will take too long and the past is in the past.  Today is more important and those four words are how I’m trying to live my life now (this is where the bikini comes in, keep reading).

Today I’ve got tired feet, a headache and a huge smile.  Today I drank cider in a park at a festival with special people. Today I feel grateful that I’m not going to London next weekend, 3 weekends in a row have been enough – Ed Sheeran, Foo Fighters and my son was in a show at Sadler’s Wells theatre last night.  Today I decided to blog again and today I bought a bikini.

Yep.  This bikini.

It may not fit and it’ll certainly show off my mummy tummy and squishy bits.  It’ll definitely show off the fact that my belly button isn’t central and that I’ve got one hip about 2 inches higher than the other and it will show off the fact that when I’m happy I eat! But when I find the confidence to wear it in the garden/at the beach I’ll know I’ve completely found the living for today attitude that I want to find.

? Ali



You can’t rush it …

Well, I was all set to show you amazing pictures of a gorgeous seeded loaf today … but as you can see, no pictures.

It was a beautiful dough, I added 2 tablespoons each of raw sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds, and 1 tablespoon of raw golden linseed. I kneaded it with the love and attention it deserved, sang along to The Levellers as I pushed and pulled until it was glossy and stretchy. Even disregarded my phone and Facebook for the whole 15 minutes I was manipulating the soft dough into something an artisan baker would be proud of.

I put the dough into an oiled bowl, covered it with clingfilm and left it to prove in the kitchen as usual. Oh, but then … the sun dared show its pretty face and I had a brainwave.  What if I move the dough from the kitchen into my sunny sewing room to speed up the proving? A grand idea you may think … perhaps not.

My beautiful ball of softness had tripled in size, I even gloated to my friend and sent him a photo of the gloriously risen dough. How the smug can fall … I knocked back the dough and shaped it ready to go in the loaf tin, my brain told me that it would be a great idea to leave it in the sunny sewing room again whilst I was on the school run and did a little bit of food shopping.  I came back to a gloppy, sticky mess dribbling over the edges of the loaf tin.  Not to be deterred, I baked it anyway.  It sunk. My heart sunk. My loaf wasn’t happy, he was sad because I’d rushed him into being instead of slowly allowing him to rise at his own pace.

Still tasted good though, a fine crumb texture albeit a little doughy but with a delicious crunchy crust.

I learnt today that you can’t rush things.  They don’t happen when rushed.  Just as you can’t rush a loaf to rise, you can’t rush a person to heal if they’ve been hurt.  Everything has it’s own time, be patient.  Appreciate those smaller things that you often disregard.  Take life at your pace and don’t worry that you are not moving with the crowd.

Tomorrow I will bake again, slowly and with care.