swimming pools;London Fields Lido in North London

My favourite outdoor pool in London. Naomi and I swim most Sunday mornings at 9am. We’re looking forward to the winter when the air and ground becomes frozen or snowy and the water is warm and heavy with steam and you can’t see the other end. The best part is the lack of people;just the hardy and absolutely devoted swimmers who’ll swim in all seasons regardless of the weather.

This picture was taken in October on a beautiful warm morning, rather unseasonal, with a warm southerly breeze. As you can see it wasn’t too busy. We love London Fields lido.

Sunday 20th and what a contrast. Woke up and there was a wonderful rather creepy mist in London. The pool was fabulously mysterious and atmospheric. We had a lovely swim even thought the showers were cold. As usual lots of banter in the change rooms and the usual good natured moaning about the poor changing facilities. Did a man design the refurbishment? Here’s the evidence

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Afternoon tea at mine

apple,walnut and golden syrup cake with frosted icing.
Afternoon of home baking at mine with friends and some of the sweets from the afternoon. Brandy snap above and chocolate celebration cake.
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Things I know

Don’t be critical of young people’s dress choices, it’s ageing. (Or the high moral ground is a lonely place!) Cycle in the middle of the lane , otherwise cars try and squeeze through when there’s not enough room (or be … Continue reading

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bread rolls with sunflower and poppy seeds ready for eating. They lie frozen ready for defrosting for Sunday big Bake Off. Not everyone likes sweet things. 

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Chocolate biscuits

Chocolate biscuite


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More baking………sent via Mike

Here’s a recipe to try….

Lemon and Poppyseed Cupcakes

*Lemon and Poppyseed Cupcakes*
Makes 12There is something that is quintessentially delicious about combining lemon and poppyseeds!  I’m not sure what it is. I only know it works.  Toast the poppyseeds for even more flavour!

225g self raising flour (1 2/3 cups)
175g golden caster sugar (2/3 cup)
the zest of two unwaxed lemons
1 TBS poppyseeds, toasted
3 large free range eggs
100g natural yoghurt (about 1/2 cup)
175g butter, melted and cooled slightly (1/2 cup, plus 1 TBS)

For the Icing:
225g butter, softened (1 cup)
400g icing sugar, sifted (about 3 cups)
the juice of one lemon
few drops yellow food colouring
icing flowers, sprinkles or lemon slice candies to decorate

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.  Line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper liners.  Set aside.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, lemon zest and poppyseeds.  Beat the eggs into the yoghurt and them tip this mixture into the dry ingredients along with the melted butter.  Mix together with a wooden spoon, until lump free.  Fill the cake cases about 2/3 full.  Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until a skewer poked in the centre of one comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before removing to  a wire rack to finish cooling completely before icing.

To make the icing, beat the softened butter until really soft.  Gradually beat in the icing sugar and lemon juice.  Add just enough food colouring to give you a pale yellow colour.  Spread on top of the cupcakes in a decorative manner.  Top with some decorations.  Store in an airtight container.

Something I’ll be making very soon. Picture pending
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Am practising because I need to get better. This week I have made pastry, a pancetta quiche, blueberry muffins and finally tonight a marmalade a fruit cake a la Mary Berry. In summary, pastry was way too short, muffins were a bit tasteless and quiche had too many things in it!! let’s hope the cake does better.

Mike has sent me a recipe for a Lemon Bar tray bake which looks delicious. This is his photo. Just hope mine will look as good.

Mike's lemon Bar

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Blackfriars Bridge protest

October 12,2011

Joined over a thousand other cyclists tonight to try and convince TFL to listen to London Cycling Campaign’s advice over the Blackfriars Bridge reconfiguration. Michelle and Liz joined me and we had a great cycle and enjoyed the camaraderie of the jaunt. Nice to see those cars having to wait while we made our points.

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More swimming and cycling

Great swimming holidays in Slovenia and the Lakes with Swimtrek this year. Michael joined Naomi and me  to swim around and across Lakes Bled and Bohinj. I think he was smitten.

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Good service

This is the place to come for a fair and balanced review of some of the eateries around my local area or in London. Being of a certain age, I love good service but don’t believe ‘the customer is always right’.

Right now I am itching to write a bad review of a local cafe but as I aim to give an unprejudiced and balanced opinion I’m going to let it rest for a few days or at least until I feel less irritated! Suffice to say Tina, I can’t salute you.


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