Saturday, 5 January 2013

A Simple Saturday. . .

Moving to the UK has been all about rediscovering and enjoying the simple pleasures in life (something I intend to continue throughout 2013).  It's also about the weather.  In Toronto the temperature is below zero with flurries.  In Liverpool I was sitting outside in the 9 degree sunshine having a latte and knitting.

A work colleague arranged for a few friends and fellow knitters to gather at Sudley House, an historic Victorian mansion that is part museum (it has really lovely tiled fireplaces and a Victorian doll house) and part art gallery (a Turner, a Holman Hunt, a Burne-Jones among others).  This is the back view.

It also has a very nice cafe with an outdoor courtyard and it was just too lovely to sit indoors.  Especially with these vibrant green views.  Just beyond the trees is the Mersey and on a clearer day, you can see the Welsh hills.  It just doesn't feel like January.

It was the kind of lazy day where you just couldn't help feeling happy with a bit of sunshine on your face and nothing more pressing to do than watch the clouds drift by especially when they were this magnificent. Don't they look as if someone has just smudged the sky with cloud paint?

I met a few new knitters who are also hikers, big readers, and Bronte enthusiasts, and there's no better company for a few hours of chit chat.  Then it was a nice walk home and off to prepare something special for dinner. Though I usually don't like Gordon Ramsey's brusque manners, his last cooking show was very informative and quite enjoyable to watch.  There was no shouting and swearing at some poor novice, just a distillation of essential cooking tips and some very good recipes. I got the accompanying book for xmas (which I highly recommend) and made his slow cooked fiery lamb dish.

The photo below looks a bit of a mess, but trust me, this was a really flavourful dish. The lamb is marinated with chilies, cumin and cinnamon and then cooked for three hours in red wine and stock.  I added a lot of potatoes, onions, carrots and parsnips which caramelised in the process and were extremely yummy in all the soaked up juices.  

And the knitting? Well, I've just frogged everything that I knitted today. I'm experimenting with linen stitch and some Noro yarn and I'm just not happy with the result yet.  But I'm not stressed or upset about it; it's been a lovely day and I'll simply give it another go tomorrow.

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