Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Muji broom

For me, Muji has always been a slightly disappointing shop: full of promises of an organised and minimalistic zen-like life, but then on entering the shop I realise I don't need a perspex jewellery box or re-fillable toothpase tubes. Don't get me wrong, the concept is great, but I'm just too messy to be a minimalist and I worry about my home looking as sterile as a hospital (little chance of that). However; the other day I made an excellent purchase in Muji! Whilst perusing the usual array of plastic containers and shrink wrapped t-shirts I stumbled upon the never-seen-by-me-before cleaning section (is it new?) and I bought the greatest little broom. A mundane purchse I know, but when you live in 33m sq, everything is on show and you don't want to be looking at a garishly coloured mega-broom fit for a witch. My new bristled friend is telescopic (goes down to about 55cm long), with a tiny head and clip on dustpan, and will hopefully encourage me to sweep up between weekly vacuumings.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Port in Porto

Porto was lovely, we had to work plenty but were recompensed with good food and the spa. I've only uploaded one photo as the rest have random people in them or my new colleagues, and none are of moi(!) - still not feeling very photo-friendly. Anyway back to Porto... the hotel was lovely, we ate in some great restaurants (though I wasn't impressed by the famous bacalao or salt cod-in fact I've eaten better bacalao in Spain, buy hey, I can hardly judge from a 4-day stay in Porto. What did strike me was that the influence of other cultures was more evident in Portuguese food than in Spanish: samosas (Indian), Cooked carrot salad (North African as far as I know..?). The most delicious thing were these little custard tart things, made with puff pastry: I ate my own body weight in them every morning. The port was also delicious, didn't know you could get white port, but you can.

Monday, 7 July 2008

Lovely art

Here are a couple of pieces by my new favourite artists: Deborah Cushman from California (just look at those colours!!), and Christopher Stott (so serene, and I love pears):


It would seem I am getting better... really it's only my smile that's getting better, but that is one facial expression that counts for so much more than the various others that I still can't do (frown, pucker up, surprised, the list goes one..). I have to say being able to smile has made me look loads better, and I'm grateful but afraid to be happy - as they say that when recovery comes this late, it can 'regress'... so let's see what happens, I think I'll have a better idea of what the future holds in a couple of months. In the meantime I'm still toying with the idea of getting a toy (haha) dog and starting to enjoy the glory that is summer in Madrid: mojitos on terrazzas, gay pride, pretty dresses, sweating on the metro...

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Summer food

Being July it's hot in Madrid, and I've hit upon my yearly dilemma - what to eat when it's too hot to cook? Salads are the obvious answer but frankly they just don't fill me up enough, and whilst you can accompany them with bread, the bread in Madrid often just isn't that great. Today however I hit upon a rare moment of creative inspiration when faced with the contents of my fridge: I mixed a jar of cooked brown lentils, chopped spring onion, spinach, chopped mint a bit of runny greek yoghurt, plus lemon juice, olive oil and seasoning (salt, pepper and a touch of cumin) to make a refreshing and filling salad that didn't involve potatoes or pasta (eat your heart out Delia Smith - excuse the pun). What do you eat when it's too hot to cook? Share some of your inspiration please!! As for summer drinks, my favourites are spritzers or natural fruit juices mixed with sparkling water - great when it's so hot that juice is just too cloying. Do I think I'm Nigella or something?
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