I have managed to do a few of my New Year Resolutions so far and I have also been making an effort to do something different at the weekends. It can sometimes be hard to drag myself away from a cup of coffee and Saturday Morning Kitchen but I struggle through. Luke, on the other hand, is almost impossible as he clings to his Saturday morning lie-in like his own personal lifeline. I fear, for the sake of our relationship, I will have to study the art of compromise more thoroughly…or set the clocks an hour ahead? He’d never know.. surely.
These weekend activities have included exploring Congleton. See, I am working through my New Year resolutions!. After having spent the day walking near some rocky crags. I have completely forgotten the name of where we were but there were lots of rocks, people climbing them (and luckily no-one falling off) and stunning views at the top.
My brother and his partner had invited us to stay with them and although it is only half an hour away. Well, fifty minutes if you include the accidental detour I sent Luke on due to my navigational skills although I blame the sat nav for not moving as quickly as the car!. It really felt like we had gone away for the weekend and it was lovely. Although, I did regret the amount of wine I had drunk when I woke up on Sunday. Well I didn’t have a lot (honest!) it’s just I don’t drink at all any other time. I can’t believe I ever survived student life! What I needed was to make a huge sunday lunch. Completely for medicinal reasons of course.
The following weekend we went to a huge travel fair with the Murrays and got to enter lots of competitions in the vain hope we will win a trip of a lifetime. Now I know I have only just returned from abroad but already I am beginning to have itchy feet and plan where I will holiday next. Oh well, you never know, I may win the five-star adventure holiday or a night glamping. I just hope I don’t win the ‘drive your own safari’. If either Luke or myself are driving there is the distinct possibility we will end up hopelessly lost, way off-road or in a ditch surrounded by ravenous animals at their dinnertime. Alternatively, we will shoot across the plains so rapidly that it will be a case of ‘blink and you’ll miss it’. Now I’m not saying which of us will provide which predicament but, needless to say, I think any safaris we do in the future should always have an independent driver. Preferably one who can protect you from any animals whilst driving.
It was then off to Wilmslow‘s Artisan Market, which was pleasantly surprising with the amount of delicious goodies available. There were huge, sumptuously filled pies; little colourful macaroons whose colours popped out amongst the other stalls so you just had to go and try one; There were many vegetable stalls; There was a fantastic array of smelly cheese; A heavenly smelling bread stall and lots of vibrant, home-made chutney. It was almost as good as Indianapolis Farmers Market. However, the weather was not and it was very much a case of ‘batten down the hatches’ as vendors desperately clung to their mini-marquees to stop them from flying away. I managed to pick up six of the tiniest, cutest cupcakes ever.
As well as chutney and jams from a lovely lady who had made them all herself. She had an array of wonderful flavours and these chutneys were just perfect for cheese. I also brought Luke a jam of raspberry jam as he fell in love with it. I shall definitely be buying more at the next market!
We then found a ‘baked taco/crisps’ stall run by an American (so it was almost like being back there!). We brought two bags of these to bake for dinner and a ‘fiery salsa’ . Now that name was no understatement as I found out later when I nearly burnt my throat and stomach on the dip. My dad was prohibited from even lifting the lid as he find the mild sweet chili dipping sauce too hot. I think this sauce, quite possibly, could have killed him. Or he would have killed me if he had tried it. Either way, this sauce can be lethal and should be used with caution although Luke loved it. To prevent any deaths, I sent it to Derby with him in order to protect my family. How good am I?
Once my taste buds had come back to life, after a long time, I have spent the rest of my time going to the cinema. I am definitely getting the most for my money by using my unlimited card! I even went twice in one weekend. I have also been sporadically baking various assortments of bread and scones. As well as this, inspired by the market, I have just attempted my first try at making sweet potato and lentil pate. It actually looks ok, if not a bit gloopy, and the taste is very unusual. I shall unleash it on my family later and see how they react. You would think that they would be used to my wacky cooking by now!
This weekend I resisted the urge to change the clocks and I managed to implement my new attempts at compromise and I let Luke have a lie in whilst I went for a run. I had misjudged how icy it was and at one point my vibrams and me went skating across a frozen puddle. It was all done very ungraciously and I must have looked more like a wobbly chicken sliding along rather than a more elegant creature. I did let out a bit of a cheer as I arrived at the other side of this mini iced lake still standing. However, there was then country walk left to contend with over the weekend. Due to the prospect of snow we played it safe and went to Tatton Park. Well, we thought we had played it safe untill we pulled up into the park and were greeted with a huge sign announcing that there was a wedding fayre on. Ummm. We were unceremoniously parked amidst the wedding shoppers. These were predominantly glamorous looking ladies trying not to get incredibly high shoes stuck in the mud. They often had a bewildered, and a slightly scared, looking man in tow. Oh dear. Seeing as we have no plans for anything wedding related for at least the next decade we did a huge swoop around the enormous wedding marquee, got lost in a gated off area of the park
and made our way into the safer company of the deer.
I was just pleased that we hadn’t brought my parents dog as I believe that this incident below would have been nothing compared to the chaos that would have ensued.
After a near brush with the wedding goers we found a lovely pub to retreat too for a ‘posh pb’ sandwich and an afternoon drink. However, afternoon goblets of wine meant that I had to go for a nap. Oh dear…