Ten on a Tuesday: 10 Favorite Pizza Toppings

1. Potato and rosemary. I first had this when I was on my year abroad in Siena, Italy.

2. Margarita. Simple tomato sauce and mozzarella with a sprinkle of herbs.

3. Mushroom and marscapone. One of my favourite treats. Waitrose do this and I’d choose it over any other.

4. Prawns. These remind me of my grandma. Pizza was an exotic foreign import in the 70s and my grandma gave me pizza with frozen prawns on. My first pizza ever!

5. Pepperoni. Pepperoni reminds me of school days. A friend and I used to get a huge pizza with pepperoni and chili peppers on from Dominos (it was a novelty then) and eat it after school.

6. Sweet roasted peppers. I like them particularly after they have beeen roasted.

7. Anchovies. I love anchovies and adore anchovy paste on toast.

8. Ham and pineapple. A total cliche but I love it.

9. Hoisin duck. There is a really cool pizza restaurant in London called Fire + Stone that does all kinds of different pizzas that are a bit far out.

10. White sauce. Bianca – is a new thing over here so instead of tomato, there is white sauce on your pizza. It is very tasty.

It is pouring with rain here and the thunder and lightening are getting close (eek!). Hopefully it will stop soon and I can get to sleep! I’d better check where the candles are!!

Sirius and Tamyra would like catnip on their pizza.

These boots were made for toddling

These were an incredibly quick knit for a little girl M I know whose mummy regularly dresses her daughter in the hand-knit gifts that were given to her so I was happy to plan and make this sweet little project for her. M is rather a sweet baby and a good cuddler so I am a bit in love with her. I finished them last night at the Women’s Institute meeting which was great fun.

I’ve been a member of my local village WI for about a year now however with the majority of members in their 60s and 70s, there is very little going on and it is more of a traditional WI. I’ve been wanting (for quite a while) to get together with some like-minded ladies to knit and chat and learn some new skills so when I heard about the newly formed Jubilee WI, I contacted the organiser and was invited to go along last night. It was quite a revelation – there were quite a few really interesting sub-groups going and I’m planning to join the Stitch and Knit group, photography group and maybe even the cookery group (apparently they are planning to make chocolates). I could join the Writers’ group, too, but that is probably too many activities! The talk last night was ‘Make Do and Mend’ all about the history of clothing during WWII and how the shortages meant that people really had to get creative about how they reused and repurposed items and fabric to get the most wear out of them. I wish I still had those fantastic patchwork quilts my mum used to make when I was little out of scraps of old clothing. I was quite bemused by the tights (pantyhose) that were kept in glass jars to keep them safe from silk worms and clothes moths. I’m very excited about this new development as it will be great to get together with other people who are interested in similar things – as I walked in the hall last night I actually bumped into three people I knew already.

I’m probably most excited about the photography group as the first meeting is in a couple of weeks and they are going to teach us about the different things we can do with our cameras. I’m going to take pao’s massive DSLR with me as I’m interested in finding out about fStops etc. This is a snapshot I took of a passionflower the other day – it was the only one on the plant.

Tamyra has her own snow boots which are so pretty. She is still highly stressed out so we’ll be taking her to the vets once pao has recovered efficiently. Poor puss. I did read somewhere that cats can get OCD which may explain some of the strange repetitive behaviour. I’ve gotten hold of some fur ball paste as I’m concerned that all the grooming may lead to a build up of a giant fur ball inside her. Luckily, she seems to be happy to eat that mixed in with some wet cat food.

Spot the difference

My Osk Boot Socks are done! Yay! But there is a teensy problem with them. Can you spot where it all went wrong?

I have got an excuse though. pao was in hospital again whilst I was knitting the second sock. I was up late knitting through my fair isle to get the quick green bit so when I went to pick pao up I had something easy to work on. I was a little sad when I discovered what I’d done but decided that I was too far gone to unpick.

They also make quite a nice cat blanket.

Tamyra has been cheering me on to finish the second by sleeping nicely next to me 🙂

I think I’m officially in love with fair isle.

When knitting saves the day

It has been a trying week. pao called me from work Monday afternoon sounding rather unlike himself and when he couldn’t identify our car even though it was right in front of him, I decided to take him to the hospital. Three days later, loads of tests and he has been diagnosed with a nasty rare form of migraine that makes you look like you are having a stroke. He is still poorly and now I’m feeling a bit under the weather myself too feeling headachy and flu-ey. But as you can see, knitting has saved the day. I’ve been attracted to the idea of fair isle for a while but was a bit put off by my aborted Aldis Mittens. I was given a wonderful gift of some Rowan Tweed (I wasn’t filled with joy at the suggested yarn Colourspun) so I could make some knee highs and I started on some Osk Boot Socks. Now these I’m very happy with – I altered the pattern a bit so the fair isle bit is on the fat bit of my calf but knitting them has cheered what have been a series of difficult days. I enjoyed chatting (well it was a stretch as the lady only spoke German) about Fair Isle knitting with one of the wives of the other patients on the stroke ward where pao was looked after – two of the four patients on the bay he was in were German and pao’s doctor was also German – weird or what?

Saturday (before pao’s drama kicked in) I noticed that Tamyra went into overgrooming overdrive – she has been a bit like this since we went away for a week but it was more noticeable on Saturday. She had groomed a huge section out of her tail even before we got our suitcase out for the night 🙁 I called the vets and Paul was dispatched to collect a Feliway diffuser to try and calm everyone down. I did worry a bit about how bald she’d be when we returned but it has seemed to make a difference along with the Bach Rescue Remedy in her water. I was a tad concerned when pao was admitted into hospital that she’d go back to manic grooming again but thankfully she seems to have stopped that activity which is quite a relief. So it has been quite a week! Thank goodness I had some lovely knitting to distract me.

Guest Blogger – pao@WilliamsF1

Last weekend I had the pleasure of a day out at the Williams F1 Team factory to have a stroll round the museum and watch the Belgian Grand Prix, this was arranged by a friend who works for Williams as occasionally they have a friends and family day.

Here are some pictures in a gallery:

And this is what happened on the day:

Started off with a drive round the grounds past the hybrid power department where my friend works – they develop eco friendly power units that are used in other race series notably by Audi who won Le Mans this year and also flywheel energy units for buses. Anyway outside his office is the topiary F1 Car that won at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year – it is really quite impressive but does need a slight trim and a prune. Rumor has it that Frank Williams is getting one done for his own garden.

Then round the back of the F1 factory where the race bays are – didn’t see anything as it was all closed up as the team is at a race this weekend. The conference centre is round the front of the factory and has more topiary which is even more impressive. Just inside the doors are two F1 cars one of last year and one of some years ago suspended by wires from the ceiling.

The factory tour was a non starter as the factory was shut due to the race – but even so spent a good hour or so in the museum where they have one of every Williams F1 car made – it was really impressive and I felt like a kid in a toy shop. What was amazing is that you can really see how the cars have developed over the years. I hate to imagine the insurance bill for the place though as the cars are probably worth several million pounds each and there were in the region of 40 cars there.

The upper part of the museum has the development of the cars section, a huge scalextric set (car racing toy to you) and a couple of old model simulators based around monocoques of the cars – they were really impressive – sadly I didn’t get a go in them but I will live.

Interestingly they had the large (5ft tall) panel that was made for Frank’s 70th birthday this year, it has FW70 on it in the middle made of a mosaic of pictures over the years and just about all of the drivers and other F1 big wigs signed it. They wanted to make a poster of it to sell but could not get a licence agreement to sell all of the drivers autographs off – such is politics – but I do have a photograph so I am happy.

Lunch was in the main conference room, where there were lots of round tables and a buffet lunch. This was along with a group phone call to Mark Gillan who runs the race team reporting in on how things were looking in Belgium along with details of the planned race strategies etc.

As for the race itself they showed the Sky video and commentary feed (the BBC commentary is better in my view but wont complain) along with the live timing data on big screens and it was quite impressive. Best though was the atmosphere in the place, although it was a partisan crowd where the obvious cheers go to their own drivers and collective groans when Pastor Maldonado mucked up his start – they were really fair to all the other teams and drivers and so appreciative of anyone doing well. A big cheer at the end for Jenson winning the race as he used to drive for Williams and was and remains very popular with the team.

Finally a visit to the shop on the way out – where I acquired a Williams mug and a couple of gears from a gear box at a very reasonable price – they will make excellent paperweights when I have removed the protective grease layer as they are straight from the factory ready to be unpacked cleaned and put in a gearbox.

All in a fantastic day and not something that is normally available.