Isle of Fire

I love those long summer days when you spend the day whole day out in the sun and then stay out long after it sets.  Saturday was one of those days – definitely my favourite so far this summer.  In the evening we went down to Barry Island to see the return of Isle of Fire; the promenade was transformed with fire sculptures – including a giant, flaming cauldron (very sospan fawr) – lit torches, music and entertainment.  :-)

We started the evening off at Jackson Bay with a sunset picnic.

We drank Cider (Kiwi and Lime Cider is a new discovery; when Sunny told me about it I thought it sounded completely rank, but it’s actually really, really nice – light and refreshing and almost too easy to drink…)
…we dipped our toes in the sea (brrrrrrrrrrr!)...

…and Cath and I finally tried out the ‘Go’ part of Pokemon Go and got to see what all the fuss is about:-)  We trotted around the beach trying to get it to work and eventually I found a Magikarp flopping around right there on the beach.  It’s cute, not sure if I’m that into it yet… I’m sure I’ll start gushing and walking into street lamps with everyone else if I come across a Snorlax though…




As the sun was setting we walked around to Whitmore Bay to see the Isle of Fire already ablaze.

The best bit of the whole night by a long way were the drummers.  Dressed in a bizarre space age pierrot-esque getup and Kiss facepaint, they appeared out of nowhere on the promenade with their light drums and percussion and were a brilliant surprise:-)









Penarth’s Wild Flowers

There’s a saying I love this time of year; “The earth laughs with flowers.”  Well, Penarth is currently giggling with the prettiest crop of wildflowers I’ve ever seen.  There’s something lovely about dropping seeds in a patch of dirt and just letting them grow wild.  Someone once told me that when their grandfather died he’d asked that his ashes be mixed with wildflower seeds and then fired out of a cannon into the field behind his house.  Although they found it a bit bizarre and I think almost disrespectful at the time when summer eventually swung around and the field “laughed with flowers” it became a sweet reminder that reappeared every year after.  I love that.:-)

I took Sunny’s Mum and Dad to see them when they came to stay last week.  There were so many different kinds flowers in so many different colours.



Met this handsome chap along the way…:-)

You can’t walk the pier without stopping in the Pavillion Cafe for a cup of tea and a tea cake!
Which, it has to be said, are the biggest tea cakes I’ve ever seen in my life!  (…and I’ve eaten a fair few in my time…!)




We walked back along the beach and I filled my pockets with lots of sea glass.:-)

Tiramisu

I’ve been drinking tea for a looooong time.  I mean, I can’t remember the first cup, but my Mum was definitely serving me up a mug every morning before I went off to Primary School.  One day however, and for whatever reason, my Dad was put in charge of making my morning of tea.  That was the morning I first tried coffee.  I didn’t like it then and I still don’t like now.  But I wish I did, because I absolutely love the smell of proper coffee – there’s something really warming about it.  These days Tiramisu is as close as I’ll ever get to ingesting coffee, and it’s really easy to make:-)

All you need is: A pot of double cream and a tub of Mascarpone, 300 ml of strong coffee (whether you use granulated coffee or the leftovers from a pot of fresh coffee like I did is up to you, either will work fine), some lady fingers and amaretti (judge how many you’ll need based on the size of the tin you’re going to use to hold it all), some chopped/grated chocolate, and about 75ml of booze.
Traditionally I think you’re supposed to use Marsala, but I found this bottle of coffee flavoured Ouzo at the back of the cupboard.  A random souvenir from a trip to Rhodes a few years ago😉  Tia Maria would work just as well I think.
Mix your double cream, mascarpone and chosen booze in a bowl until it’s all combined and looks as though it’s been whipped.  Then it’s just a case of layering everything up!  Dunk the lady fingers and amaretti into the coffee, then add a layer of the cream mix – repeat!  Once you reach the top scatter chopped chocolate pieces and crushed amaretti to finish.:-)

On My Dressing Table

I am absolutely LOVING having a dressing table.  Back in the flat I made do with a tiny box shelf in the cupboard (cluttered, dark and dusty!) so upgrading to a table, with a mirror and space to hold all my junk feels very posh and ladylike.  Honestly?  It seems a little selfish and bit vain to devote a whole corner of our bedroom to my split ends and poor complexion – I’m over the moon Sunny actually agreed to it when truthfully we probably could have shared the space and used it for something else – but hey, I’ll take it:-)

All our bedroom furniture (minus the bed) is the Brusali series from IKEA.  My dressing table I think is actually supposed to be a desk – but it does the job and was a steal at £40.  It’s a sort of frosty white/grey colour and has three shelves for storage where I hold all my makeup and hair accessories in plastic tubs.

Here’s one of my favourite photographs of me and my family; we had it taken on a whim a few years back in this tiny gold town in California called Columbia.  Next to it I’ve got this scented candle from Tesco for £1 (TAKE THAT NEOM).
Our new home is really warm so I’ve gotten used to wearing a lighter dressing gown around.  I bought this old Kimono from Primark years and years ago.  It’s a bit battered, but I love it.
I keep the jewellery I wear most often on top; my engagement ring, my crown ring and my watch from ASOS (ASOS do some really nice, quirky watches for around £20).  I also bought this one a while back, where the rabbits and the carrot tick around the face every second.:-)

Having fresh flowers constantly sitting on my dressing table is a luxury I’m not going to fund – but I couldn’t resist picking up these Peonies the other day.:-)
I’m not really a big perfume lover.  I’m really, really fussy.  Chloe Eau de Roses is my all time favourite; it’s the only perfume I’ve ever repurchased and if I had to pick one perfume to wear every day until forever, it would be this one.

Spicy Crayfish Linguine with Spinach and Ricotta

This is one of those really simple pasta recipes that looks like you’ve made a big effort, when actually you’ve just boiled some water and thrown a hodge-podge of ingredients into a pan.  All you need is some linguine, crayfish tails (I bought these pre-cooked ones from Lidl which worked a treat, though I’m sure there are better options out there), a handful of spinach and cherry tomatoes, some chilli flakes, garlic and ricotta.

Warm a large pan with some olive oil and butter and then gently heat the garlic.  Throw in the tomatoes and chilli until soft and saucy.  Next add a little Ricotta (too much and sauce will go a bit stodgy), then the crayfish tails and the spinach and keep it all on a low heat while you make up the pasta.

Once the pasta’s cooked, mix it in with the sauce and tada!  Easy peasy.