Archive for the ‘Events, Festivals & Holidays’ Category

Christmas Day

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

Christmas stocking (December 2012)

Christmas presents (December 2012)

Presents, (December 2012)

Table, Christmas lunch (December 2012)

Candles (December 2012)

Dreaded sprouts (December 2012)

We’ve had the most relaxed and joyful Christmas.

Our lovely Christmas tree standing proud in the corner of the room, filled with souvenirs from our travels.

Rooms lit by candles.

The sweet smell of orange and cinnamon spreading through the house.

We slept in. We read. We watched films.

With lots of tasty food (and the dreaded sprouts).

**Season’s Greetings**

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

The Snowman – I’m Walking in the Air

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and all my very best wishes for the New Year.

May 2013 be full of happy adventures and travels.

An evening of all things Scandinavian – Dolly’s, Falmouth

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

Dolly’s and Falmouth Bookseller, Falmouth (September 2012)

My recent visit to Falmouth happened to coincide with ‘NORTHERN LIGHTS’, a literary event at Dolly’s, organised in collaboration with Falmouth Bookseller.

Two authors, cookery writer Signe Johansen and novelist and travel writer Sarah Moss meet and talk about the current fascination for all things Scandinavian.

We had a wonderful evening. Informal discussions about Iceland and Scandinavian cooking.

Relaxed, friendly atmosphere.

Wine. Themed food.

Funnily enough, I was recently given a copy of Signe Johansen’s Scandilicious Baking.

I can’t wait to get started now.

If moving to Finland is not a possibility (and apparently, it’s not), then Finland (and Scandinavia) will have to come to me.

It is the way things have been going around here.

Glass of cloudberry liqueur in hand.


Pancake Day – 21 February 2012

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Pancake Day at the Breakfast Club (Hoxton)

Latte (The Breakfast club)

Great start to the day.

Breakfast at The Breakfast Club (which always cheers me up).

I had the most tasty huevos rancheros, a smoothie and a lovely latte. Delish.

Around me, people were tucking into pancakes. Which looked so yummy.

Oh how I looked at those pancakes wistfully.

Pancakes (February 2012)

Pancake filling (February 2012)

Spinach, herb and ricotta crepes gratin with a slow-roast tomato sauce (February 2012)

Dinner was lovely and tasty too.

Spinach, herb and ricotta crepes gratin with a slow-roast tomato sauce (from Vegetarian).

Happy Fat Thursday everyone!

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Slightly confusing, this is Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) in France and Shrove Tuesday in Britain.

But it’s a Fat Thursday in Germany, Poland and quite a few other places it seems.

It doesn’t really matter does it?

The concept is the same:  ”Traditionally it is a day dedicated to eating.”

You heard.

Elephant – Happy Diwali

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Happy Diwali Elephant

Elephants are everywhere…

Holi, the Festival of Colours

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Yesterday was Holi, the Festival of Colours.

“Holi (referred to as Phagwa in Bhojpuri), also called the Festival of Colours, is a popular Hindu spring festival observed in India, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad, the UK, and Nepal. In West Bengal of India and Bangladesh, it is known as Dolyatra (Doljatra) or Boshonto Utsav (“spring festival”).

The main day, Holi, also known as Dhulheti, Dhulandi or Dhulendi, is celebrated by people throwing coloured powder and coloured water at each other. Bonfires are lit the day before, also known as Holika Dahan (death of Holika) or Chhoti Holi (little Holi). The bonfires are lit in memory of the miraculous escape that young Prahlad had when Demoness Holika, sister of Hiranyakashipu, carried him into the fire. Holika was burnt but Prahlad, a staunch devotee of Lord Vishnu, escaped without any injuries due to his unshakable devotion. Holika Dahan is referred to as Kama Dahanam in Andhra Pradesh.

Holi is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Phalugna or Falguna (Phalgun Purnima), which usually falls in the later part of February or March. In 2009, Holi (Dhulandi) is on 11th March and Holika Dahan is on 10th March.” (Source: Wikipedia)

I got a colourful email from a colleague in India yesterday:

WISHING YOU ALL A VERY “HAPPY HOLI (the Festival of Colours) Now in our country we are celebrating this festival.

Have lots and lots of fun

It reminded me of my trip to India last year. I was there for Holi and it was such fun watching people covered in colours, throwing colours at each others and generally being merry.

There was a multi-coloured tiny little dog. People were trying to throw colour on us… but we were watching from the safety of a bus!

Festival New Orleans – O2, 25 October 2008

Monday, October 27th, 2008

Who says that you can’t get anything for free these days… New Orleans came to the O2 for an amazing two days of music and street parades. And it was all free!

I got there as the Rebirth Brass Band made its way down Bourbon Street. There was a real parade feel to it with traffic coming to a standstill. An New Orleans institution… ‘from playing the streets of the French Quarter to playing festivals and stages all over the world. Rebirth is committed to upholding the tradition of brass bands while at the same time incorporating modern music into their show.’ (source: MySpace). They were fun.

I caught up with them at the Louisiana Pavilion where they were joined on stage by Big Chief Monk Boudreaux. All very jolly and brassy! People joining in, dancing and singing.

Marcia Ball was on stage at indigO2. An American Blues singer and pianist, born in Texas but she actually grew up in Louisiana. She was brilliant. The crowd really went for it and it looked like she was having fun too. By the time she sang I’m Coming Down With the Blues, you could close your eyes and think that you were in a club in New Orleans. She has the perfect Bluesy voice.

Back at the Louisiana Pavilion, Allen Toussaint was wooing the crowd. One of the most influential figures in New Orleans’s R&B scene, Toussaint needs no introduction. A legend. I stayed for a couple of songs. It was a great performance but it felt a bit more polished than the other bands I had seen so far and I just wanted to keep that festival feeling…

Festival New Orleans

 What a great way to spend a couple of hours… Vibrant music and great characters… all for free! Great fun.