21 December 2010

Time for cookies

Hazelnut  crescents,  gingerbread cookies and chocolate dipped walnut stuffed figs, yes it is time again for baking and sweets. School days have ended and I am nervously watching the airport departures online. will be travelling the next few days, so till after the holidays - Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to one and all! (those that celebrate Christmas)
  Shall be back in the new year. 

19 December 2010

Local Talent

Part 2.
Perhaps yes perhaps I have spotlighted this artist before.
Her latest creations (it's the winter addition you see) are so sweet that I can't help but show them off 
For the lovely E. enjoying being  back in France I hope. 
Find her here and her shop here

13 December 2010


This weekend there have been a few of the good sort, like this gift from Portugal. 
S. you know me well- nice soap!!! 

a little something for someone else (love the picture and the tea) 
what a better thing to do then pass it on.

and then came the surprise that my gang- (the Mr. and child A.B. and C.) 
did indeed land in the windy city but with them arrived a major blizzard so they are stuck 
and I feel 100,000 miles away.  You see I needed to stay and teach so they all went first. 
I miss them already and am counting the hours till I can call and hear their little voices 
(and tales of the wind and snow and hotel room details)! 
(these two snow photos were not taken by me)

From sunny 14 degree (Celsius) Malta wishing you all a good start to the week and oh!!! 
Happy Santa Lucia Day! 

09 December 2010

Winter Feasts

I went to collect my Italian friend for our weekly evening stroll around the harbour (The Grand Harbour as it is officially called). Just down the street I met this procession, the Bormla Feast was in full swing and the local statue was making her solemn way through the narrow streets. Its been a bumpy week of late nights,work stress and kid mishaps (my little Mr. T had a bit of  crash and is pretty battered and bruised).
The chance meeting with this statue as she made her annual pilgrimage through the village streets was a highlight of the week, isn't she stunning?

05 December 2010


A slow weekend feels utterly delicious ....

a few of my gang were under the weather so we sadly had to opt out of picnic and art sessions
but with the cold winds finally blowing (its around 13 now) (nothing like the white wonderland the South of England has been having or Germany or Wisconsin or Colorado) but it felt really cold to us, so it was nice to stay in, cut out paper snowflakes, get down the Christmas box, put some lights up (and with my Mr. Grinch away working) I could blast cheesy Christmas songs with no worry!

The wild ones; magpie, lego-head and D are the most excited yet.. every day really is a count down
(which confuses little D so she plays it safe and every morning asks to be sure- is it today??!!! Christmas birthday is today?! ) NOOOOoooooo come all our  voices ....not yet.
 I think in her mind Christmas is Father Christmas's birthday.
We baked cookies and danced around to Louis Armstrong's ... Zatt you Santa Claus.
I do love the season... time again for chocolate chestnut soup!
Happy start of December to you all.

02 December 2010


Am blown over at the moment, 
back to work full time is one thing and first year of full time teaching another. 
Parents day (half way through) is quite an experience I must say, when its from the teacher side..(till now I had only been on the parent side). 
Back to the confession bit... so I have no time
 none at all,
 not for crafting, 
emailing , calling, creativity in cooking or baking 
or sewing these days and for sure not time enough to be up to date with
 the laundry or  the housework 
 I have somehow managed to squeeze in 
(READ -  make time for)
 Wee 30 min bits of time 
to watch this new series (not so very new I guess but new to me)

  I heard an interview about it recently 
(on the radio show NPR fresh air) 
 it's a show called In Treatment. 
I  have never gone to therapy myself but
 I find the premise and the episodes fascinating
very thought provoking ...(and very well acted)
 so yes I ought to be ... dusting, sweeping folding laundry, preparing lunches, signing fieldtrip forms, making up field trips forms and worksheets  but I am in all honesty trying also to fit in a bit of 'me' time ...a.k.a wake up the mind time... something apart from the family and work.. 
sometimes we all need that  right? 
 I know I do ....to feel whole.. and alive.. this new series is my guilty indulgence... 
what about you? 
What bit of 'me' time do you make time for ? 

*apologies another Cornerview missed, I may have to remove myself for this year. 

28 November 2010

Let us

go away....
to a small island 
(called Gozo)

and bring the wild ones

and notice the silent old houses

past the blown rocks

down to windows which frame the cobalt sea

for some bursts of happiness, laughter, food and wine
and let us make some time to give thanks... 
Happy belated Thanksgiving to those of you out there who are American (North American).

23 November 2010

candles and colds

Another birthday, this time mine,  lemon poppy seed cake (my favourite) and organic lotions 
I can not complain... although it was a rocky and long work day 
and I am down for the count with a cold.
The kind of cold when the pressure in your head makes every movement feel an effort in slow motion, as if  attached to your shoulders is actually a sphere of led. 

So as the evening falls and chilly winds blow(it's all relative)
I will be making this...
Discovered when six years ago (almost to the day) we were visiting Dublin on a particularly frosty weekend, we stopped in this old smoky pub and I was offered this-  a large lemon wedge stuffed with about 8 cloves, some boiling water, a tablespoon of honey and a small shot of Whisky...
 PERFECT  I tell you, for when you have the chills and are ready for bed.

The other thing I like to make when someone in our family is sick with a cold or a sore throat is this,
Greek Egg Lemon Soup
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup orzo pasta
the juice of one lemon
one egg
salt and pepper to taste
The directions are as follows, Boil the orzo for 12 min in the stock, meanwhile whisk the egg and add in the lemon juice, when totally blended add small spoonfuls of the stock to the egg mixture till you have added about 1 cup of the hot liquid, then add the egg mixture back into the pot and reduce heat, do not let it boil. It will thicken a bit as it cools. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
serves two

17 November 2010

Wednesday's Cornerview: 'Anything Goes'

I had wanted to do a six year's ago post (in response to Guusje's question) but low and behold I have no idea where that cd full of photos is!!??  Somehow in all our moves it seems as if most of the photographic proof of life before kids has vanished!?  

With time running up and the pasta water nearly boiling (the music playing)  I will have to settle with the only thing I could find the photo of a nice soup I made yesterday care of my all time favourite cookbook -

3 Tbs Olive oil
1/2 Large Spanish Onion(diced)
2 garlic cloves
1 rounded teaspoon black cumin seeds (I used normal green cumin seeds)
750 grams beetroot(peeled and diced)
1 large potato(finely diced)
1.25 liters cold water
3 Tbs good quality red wine vinegar
1 small bunch flat leafed parlsey
100 grams plain yogurt, (thinned with a little milk and seasoned with a clove garlic crushed salt and pepper).
Saute in olive oil the onion and pinch of salt, cook for 10 min, add teh garlic and cumin and cook for 2 min. Add the beetroot, potato. Add the water and let it all simmer for 15 min. Blend then place back in pot, add vinegar half the parsley and salt and pepper to taste, garnish with the yogurt and parsley. Serve warm/hot.

 The Moro
(Beetroot and cumin soup)
and it was tasty!
and with that
the recent favourite song
(for those times in the car) by Micah P. Hinson
(for some reason we tend to bend to the melancholy this time of year )
....so this is to those dear people I miss when I think back to our life in Brighton
(yes even now I long to return) don't you forget.... 
ok one more - (from dear old Seattle my home before married life)
 Laura Veirs -July Flame (warning on the slow end)

14 November 2010


 I was given an early birthday gift this weekend (I confess that I am a  cookbook addict, especially those kinds with pictures of not just food but that show the people and places the food came from). I must say, for all the hype around dear plain speaking Jamie Oliver, I do still like him and his books. He is an artist at heart with a good eye for the sometimes unglamorous but delicious authentic foods out there.  I like the way he pays homage to the people who taught him recipes and tricks along the way. His latest cookbook is no less lovely and inspiring than his Italy one.

So here's hoping to fit in some time to cook amid the work stress! 
Cheers and a happy Monday to you!

09 November 2010

As time goes by

Fate brought us back via a lazy Sunday kid martial arts morning to the tiny tucked away village of Zebbug (pronounced Zeebuj) which in Maltese translates into Olives.  
As the two older children learned to sit quietly and still, my husband and I wandered the familiar streets, it's been five years since I walked through the tiny alley ways  of this hilltop village. 
We lived here for a short spell in 2005, in fact that is where my Magpie child was born, at home in a four hundred year old house under an arch carved from Stone. 
Today that same Scorpian child turns five. Oh how time goes by - as beautifully put by Souad Massi (whose song helped welcome her into the world). 

We found our way along the very same tiny windy road, passed the very same old garden I used to weave stories to little Tano about ..
forbidden still,  a forgotten garden, part of a closed up abandoned villa... 
Peering through the gate and wondering this time with little D. ... what games, old fountains, and fancy people once strolled through its grand paths? 

Somehow a feeling of peace, to find myself back at it's rusted lock, this time with another child. As if for a very small moment I nodded to the ghost of my pregnant self, she who was jarred by the transition to the small island and at that time terribly lonely in the new surroundings.

A few photos from that time...
*(We lived in Malta for a small window of 8 months before work drew us back to England)

Sorry no Cornerview this week, I will take part again next week. 

04 November 2010

Happy Friday

Check out THIS clip if you haven't yet

03 November 2010

Wednesday's Cornerview: 'Famous'

One of the things you may not know about Malta is that apart from the mighty battle of 1565 (the Great Siege) it is famous for its many neolithic temples,  

here is the Hagar Qim temple, 
thought to be one of the oldest free standing human made structures on earth today. 
For other corner views you can go to the right hand panel here

02 November 2010

Small finds and fresh air

Small finds.... 

My middle child, 
She  who lives for sweets and has eyes like a magpie- 
  she who is clever at finding small hidden treasures,
 she who will soon be five is now up to new silent past times, 
little creations that I have been stumbling upon in my efforts to 'put the house back in order' 
(my first month of full time teaching has knocked my socks off and the house is hidden in layers of laundry and toys). I have been coming across small neatly made displays, small towers decorated with coins, flowers and left over ribbons, small boxes within boxes with tiny rings, a feather or two and special rocks neatly lined up with care...

 I have come across these under the desk, under the stairs, under her bed, under her sisters bed, next to where the cat sleeps, next to the stack of boots...and who knows where else I will find them, she never announces them to us (the way our oldest son does when he has made anything). 
I am loving these little discoveries. Here are two I took photos of today.

My stone (feather, marble, flower) collector

Fresh air - because it is mid term holidays here, 
which means three days off this week 
 I am very relieved to have this small break, to clean, to bake, to hang out with the kids and play dominos and not least to catch some sunshine in the nearby forest. 
(I even managed to read a few pages of the Sunday paper!) 

31 October 2010

Hope you all had a happy Halloween weekend!

* The birthday party was fun and went better than expected, egg races, chinese latern making and all
...sorry only a small smidgen of  photos to share as I was on the run from start to finish! 

27 October 2010

Wednesday's Cornerview: 'Pondering'

Has it really been three years since little Destructo entered our lives?
Pondering Stella's start into the world today, she could not be happier at
 'turning twee'. 

(hat party to come!)

24 October 2010

Birthday thoughts..

Birthday time again here 
Desructo turns 3 this week 
my little magpie turn 5 a week after
the truth is with work blinding me like a mad blizzard
I have not been able to think beyond tomorrow. 
In a rare moment of sitting and drinking tea - I am inspired by some clever birthay ideas out there... 
like these ....
 a candy dress to a candy party By Fine little Day

an India theme By the creative Miko Designs

and rainbows by the by the very talented  Elsie Marley 

In all honesty I think this year may be a small balloon filled simple affair in the nearby Chinese garden... if by some miracle of the time fairy I manage to pull off anything more  I will make a post. 

Monday thunderstorms booming us into the new week here! 
Hope your Monday is off to a flashing start too! 

21 October 2010

its been a little bit of a wet week here and I have gotten caught out in the wind 
and rain more than once...
thus the late night searching....
time for a new rain coat. 
This site (Rainfrog) made me smile--- orders almost in the mail- a wee early birthday present for myself I was thinking. You see my old one is from ahum..cough..12 years ago,
 it has made it through treks in China and Laos, to Pai (Thailand) and Perugia, Pike street walks in Seattle to Brighton strolls by the then still standing Palace Pier. Meeting he Mr. 
Pregnancy days when it was all new- waddling through the wet lanes with a big belly and the quiet excitement of the unknown future ...as a mother! To sheltering one, then another, then another wee one tucked snug in a baby bjorn as rains fell (which was especially often) when we lived in England. 
Now days though my raincoat is no longer resistant and the time has come to let it go- memories and all.   
Am tempted by this one but am open to any suggestions - am on the look out. 

17 October 2010

Blue skies and the finding of new friends

Two of life's simplest delights.

My middle child, 
she -with- curls
found a new friend today, 
sometimes it can happen in a moment!
Was heart warming to witness.
 I was lucky enough this week to catch a view of a wondrous sky, made me wish I possessed the words of a poet, would have certainly written a poem. The sight had the pleasing affect of making me feel caught up in some vast net, like a small fish, the magic of something larger (a nice feeling after an especially exhausting week).

Hope your weekend has been a little restorative. 
- J 

11 October 2010

Of tombs, lizards and candlelight

(Top photo care of the lovely Liz at Malta Inside Out)
Birgu by candlelight was a pure delight, the magic of this ancient city was beautifully enhanced by a night of only candles, local food, music and wine
It was my first time going (and surely not my last!)
The great wall of Malta!
While walking near Dwerja we crossed this bridge, made under the rule of queen Victoria (straight through what I understand are Punic tombs! Seen along the bottom of the rock face in he far left picture.

While out on our Sunday hike we crossed this little fellow on the path, Mr. T was brave enough to hold him , notice his feet!

Lastly but easily the highlight of the entire day for the children were these kittens jumping the fence to come home with us. We very nearly did bring them back with us!

Lastly to this epic post is a special thanks
 to Mr.C, who apart from showing us the way was endlessly patient with the children, stopping to point out and explain local bugs, plants and trees.We look forward to our next adventure with him! 

08 October 2010

Fabric fancies

Happy Friday!

Oh to have a little time to sew! 
Perhaps I will find a small window in the hushed quiet of Sunday morning-
before the sun and children rise. 

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