Sunday, 7 November 2010

Some degree of normality returns

I think I have enough going through my head right about now, so time for some avoidance therapy :)  And a bit of a bitsa post I’m afraid…

Christmas is a couple of months away – that means that it’s time to start the cake!  My Dutch colleagues are always surprised when I say I am starting it this early.  One of them made the joke – if you start it now it’ll mature by the time you eat it.  He was surprised when I just answered ‘Yup, that’s the idea’ :)

It’s in the oven at the moment, another 3 ½ hours to go until it’s ready to come out.  I hope that it goes well – the eggs, sugar and butter didn’t mix as well as they normally do (well I say normally I’ve only made the cake for the last 3 Christmas’).  Fingers crossed!

The weather has turned over here in Holland.  It’s wet, windy and grey.  The bike has stayed safely locked in the garden for the last couple of weeks (I’m not so much a fair weather rider, but riding on damp, slippery, leaves is not my idea of fun!)  We woke up yesterday and opened the curtains to find the BBQ and bike covers where they shouldn’t be (ie not on the bike or BBQ :p) and were storing enough water for a paddling pool – if only it was hot you could cool off in them :)

The main down shot of the weather is that the cold season has begun again in earnest.  I should be preparing for a 5KM run in Amsterdam today, but as when I ran on Tuesday I could barely complete 1.5KM’s I thought it best to let someone else take my place.  I’m pleased that I did.  Over the week it’s got slowly worse – my throat is starting to go, and my nose is starting to get blocked.  Fingers crossed that it stops soon!  I could do without another winter of almost constant colds and all that goes with it!

Mrs Stace had her birthday this week.  Her father is a sculptor in his spare time and this year her and her sister were offered free reign (almost) to pick their favourite sculpture.  Mrs Stace chose an Owl in (IIRC) Italian marble.  It’s a beautiful piece and has pride of place next to the TV, we just have to find some way of illuminating it during the evening.  I’d love a strip of LED lights – but then you would see the lights which would spoil the effect somewhat.

And finally I spent the last half day setting up a new TV in the living room.  In order to create space for the Owl we needed to remove some of my toys.  The cable digi-box was the easiest to remove, provided we got a TV that had it built in (and the decision was in no way influenced by the chance to upgrade the TV ;p) An issue with someone in the shop translating Dutch to English (he was trying to be helpful, I’m not blaming him) made the job much harder than it was.  When setting up the TV he said you must use ‘Fast’ otherwise it will not pick up any channels.  There was no ‘Fast’ option, and after an hour (IT’er hanging her head in shame at that amount of time just for setting up a TV!) I found out that he meant ‘Quick’ which I found in one of the sub menus.  Using that the TV set-up was finished in about 5 seconds (it really was quick!).  And we settled down for Strictly and then watched Wall.E that my parents brought Mrs Stace for her birthday.  It’s a fantastic film, though neither of us can imagine a child sitting down and watching it all the way through.

Right, that’s it from my – time for breakfast, coffee and to catch up on what I wanted to finish in the office this week!



  1. Happy birthday Mrs. Stace!

    Wet leaves everywhere here too. Not bike friendly at all.

    if the Dutch think maturing a cake is odd, whatever will they think of maturing a pudding for a year?

  2. The Dutch live below sea level, now that is strange.

    Used to have the cake and pudding rituals, (cleaning the mixing bowl has to be the best part, why spoil it by cooking?), with only two in the house it is hardly the same so it has faded into memory.

    We once had the spare pudding with Sicilian visitors at easter and they were amazed. You do make a spare don't you?

    Caroline xxx

  3. Wall.E

    Trust me the kids watch it. I had to sit with my (then) 5 year old, watching it over and over again.

    Thankfully it is a great movie!

  4. Jenny: Thanks!

    No, I'm waiting for the leaves to be cleaned up before taking the bike out again.

    I don't think I dare tell them of maturing a pudding for a year - they'd freak!

    Caroline: It's strange that the Dutch live beneath sea level? Sorry, my head is not working this week and I have no idea what you mean :)

    I used to love cleaning the bowl out afterwards, but for some reason don't do that anymore...

    I don't make a spare cake (though if it hasn't worked I will make a second next weekend). I have puddings brought over from the UK - I have not got around to making one just yet...

    Jo: I happily stand corrected :)

    I'm glad that we got it on BluRay and not just hired it - I think that we'll be watching that one again.


  5. Happy belated birthday to Mrs. Stacy!

    I need to know more about this cake, but perhaps it will all come together when I catch up with your other posts.

    Oh, and tell me more about the TV! Size of screen, HD, etc.?

    Calie xxx

  6. Thanks!

    I guess I'll have to do a cake post in the coming days (one more feed and it's ready for icing!)

    As for the TV...

    40", Sharp Aquos (with the extra colour pixel), Full 1080 24P HD. Connected to the Sony 350 BluRay it looks absolutely amazing! With the glass stand that it comes with it also looks stunning in itself. I can't really comment on the sound as I never use the TV for sound...