Wednesday 27 April 2011

Fish Biscuits!

No, it's not more Cockney Rhyming slang!

Nor have I just sneezed!

Or cursed!

It is the recipe for the savoury biscuits I promised you and, relax, they contain NO FISH.

Their true title is Rosemary & Olive Oil Crackers but as Frank is such an Octonauts fan we made them in the shape of fish so we could re-enact Tunip handing them to everyone on the Octopod (anyone without a four year old will think I've gone mad. I haven't).

Whatever floats his boat, eh?

They are very, very moreish and very, very easy to make.

The recipe is from a little book called "cookie magic" by Kate Shirazi that I use all the time and for anyone in the USA it has some great really traditional English biscuit recipes. The kind I grew up on, except the ones I ate back then were mass-produced and not home-made.

It's a reliably good book and fun to look through with Frank when we are looking for cookie inspiration.

:: Makes 1 batch.

115g/4oz/a generous 3/4 cup plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting

pinch of salt

1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp water

To finish : 2 tsp rock or crystal salt, 2 tbsp olive oil

Method : Pre-heat the oven to 200 C / 400 F / Gas Mark 6 and line two baking sheets. Mix the flour, salt and chopped rosemary together in a bowl. Whisk the olive oil and water together then tip into the flour and mix until you have a smooth dough.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut out shapes. Place the shapes on your lined baking sheets and prick with a fork.

To finish, mix the crystal or rock salt with the olive oil and brush over each cracker.

Keep any leftover oil and salt.

Bake the crackers for 12-15 minutes until golden..

When they come out of the oven, brush again with the leftover oil and salt and leave to cool on a wire rack.
We like these with butter smeared on top or just as they are as a snack with maybe some apple slices.

They definitely need the second coat of oil and salt.

Tomorrow morning we are off to trial that great new tent of mine at a campsite in the Cotswolds.

There will be 49 other families touched by Type 1 there.

So, lots of pancreases in the naughty corner in the Cotswolds this weekend, hey?


There will be bacon sarnies!

There will be homemade chai in the evenings!

There will be sun (I hope)!

Back in the middle of next week.

Love to all.


Sunday 24 April 2011

Randomness ... and a winner

Easter weekend has been amazing here and mostly because of the weather.

Hardly a cloud in the sky and hot, hot, hot.

The garden is already out of control and I can almost see the veggies growing. The chard from last summer is going to seed but as it's shooting flowers up so quickly I am letting it do so as I am fascinated by its strength and speed.

We have nettles you could lose a giraffe in and my chives are suddenly flowering in a big and blousy way.

Love it!


I managed to finish this little sundress made from a pillow case that I picked up in a charity shop a while ago.

If I use the word "vintage" it will seem very desirable indeed!

I am going to send it to my sister's little girl, Nancy, who has the great red hair to go so well with these colours!


We had Andrew's older children, Sarah and Tom, over today, along with their lovely Mum, Sue. Frank and all the rest of us enjoyed an Easter egg and Lindt bunny hunt in the garden.

I was just clearing up outside and found a couple of tiny, foil wrapped dark chocolate eggs that had been left in the sun.

I tried to pick them up very gently but they kind of exploded in my hand!

I was a chocolatey mess for a while there.

Rather befitting of the great chocolate festival that Easter has become.

Interestingly (and I am aware that I am playing fast and loose with that word here for some of you!) Frank's BG numbers have been in the low teens but holding steady, which is amazing as I have tried to make no references to him NOT having nibbles of chocolate today.

I just wanted to let him be.

To let him eat chocolate if he wanted to or leave it if he wanted to.

He isn't so bothered but I fear telling him he shouldn't and then seeing him really WANTING it because it's forbidden.

We'll see how that pans out in the future, hey?


We also have a winner of the "breathe" poster.

As I only had five people interested I threw a dice.

Twice number six came up (!) and then came number two : Annicles.

So big congratulations to Anna.

If you could let me know your address I will pop it in the post to you as soon as I can.

I really hope you'll love it as much a I love mine.


Also Andrew was just telling me that T1D friend he has adores the rather talented Tim Booth and met him today.

I was reminded of how much I love "James" and how I used to play this song at top volume in my classroom at the end of a long day, and only, I assure you, once all the kids were gone!

My, how it cleared the energy and brought joy rushing back in.

And we all need that.

What songs do that for you, I wonder?


And my final act of randomness in my most random post to date is this:

I'm now off to watch "Ghostbusters".


It's such a fun film and I just heard Bill Murray say,

"Back off buddy, I'm a scientist".

It's going to be a great evening!

Thursday 21 April 2011

Springy Spring!

We have been enjoying amazing weather here and have been out and about enjoying the sun on our skin.

Spring has truly busted out and trees are heavy with blossom, flowers are blooming everywhere and Frank and I have enjoyed our first of many a big water fights in the garden.

He won as he had decided that I could use his teeny tiny water pistol and he could use the garden hose.

My, that water was cold!

Today I just wanted to share a couple of pictures from our week.

Colchester Castle and some of the flowers in the Castle Park.

Frank's latest portrait of his parents!

Hall Farm Restaurant and farm shop at Stratford St. Mary.

Great food, cute animals to look at, cool farm shop = fun morning out!

Post water fight, the winner does a victory lap of the garden!


Back soon with a recipe for savoury biscuits.

Happy Eatser to you all!

Sunday 17 April 2011

Breathe :: A Giveaway

Well, hello there, lovely peeps!

This is my 200th post (and this must be the worst photo ever published on this 'ere blog!).

I have a poster of this print called "BREATHE" (click here for a better view) by the very talented Nikki McClure (click here only once you have hidden your credit card!) to offer to you as a giveaway today.

The one in the photo is framed and hangs on my dining room wall.

The giveaway poster will be sent in a cardboard tube for you to frame, or not, as you wish.

All you have to do is comment.


I love her work and have a few of her posters framed and placed strategically around the house and in the summer house.

There is something spiritual in the single word, almost a mantra, and one can lose oneself in the details.

Taking a moment to breathe deeply, to connect with the moment, to be here right now, is something often lost to us, be we parents of diabetics or diabetics ourselves (or indeed just humans).

Maybe having this poster will help you do just that.

You have until Sunday evening when the random number generator, aka Frank, will leap into action.

And a final little note:

I am so very grateful for the online support you all offer me.

It keeps me the right side of sane (most days, ahem) and I am always so excited to read your blogs and hear about your gorgeous children.

Long may our support for each other continue.

Off to sniff into my hankie now, after that outpouring of emotion.

So very un-British of me ...

Friday 15 April 2011

The hypo in the night

Two nights ago Frank had a hypo at 2:15am.

Well, he called "Mummy" quietly twice in his sleep and, as he sleeps in a little wooden bed right next to ours, I heard him.

The first time I wove his quiet call into my dream and the second time I woke and saw that he had thrown himself forwards on top of the covers.

So, I checked his nappy, which was full and his PJs, which were soaking and got up with a sigh to change the sheets, PJs and nappy. Even with great BG numbers he drinks water in the night.

It has become a habit and I am loathe to force a break in it as most nights he is OK.

This scenario is nothing unusual for us. I got on with the changing and reassuring that he'd be warm and dry in no time and he got on with relaxing and dozing like he normally does.

Then I tested his BG as that very morning I had mentioned to Andrew that it seems like a good idea, if one of us is up anyway to do a test.

He had crashed.


Two point bloody nine!

In the night.

And still drinking copiously, as though he is high.

I believe I muttered "Oh, F**K!" to myself and legged it to the packs of apple juice we leave for just such an occasion (although occasion sounds like a wedding or celebration of some sort and this most certainly wasn't that!).

I applied juice to my child and then sat reading in the room next door for fifteen minutes until I could test again.

Numbers good.

Boy sleeping.

Mama's nerves jangling like a big bunch of keys on a rodeo rider.

Good grief as Charlie Brown would say.


So, anyone new to the Type 1 malarkey, or just a friend popping by, I can say this much:

I am tired.


But I WILL stay awake because adrenalin is an amazing thing and the alternative just doesn't exist.

I WILL do my damnedest to keep my child alive and well even if I lose my mind at times in the process.

I WILL ramble on about Type 1 as though you all know all about it because you really should.


Andrew and I have zero local support network with all this.

We are alone.

But it matters not.

He is ours and we love him.

My heart beats for him.


And anyway, who needs sleep?!

P.S. In case anyone wondered, no, I did not take photos of my sleeping child as he lay in bed at a BG of 2.9!!! This is a photo from earlier in the month when I wanted to capture his messy sleepy hair.

Tuesday 12 April 2011

Self-portrait - yikes!

With the boys off in London for the Circle-D meet up last weekend I had a whole day to myself.

Whole days alone for me are a massive rarity and for a while I was full of the gazillion things I'd get done and rather dizzy all in all.

However, eventually I decided to use it to catch up with my long-overdue "the art of living cheerfully" tasks.

There have been some lovely tasks and I was woefully behind but not stressed at all really.

I was just aware that I wanted to do these things for me and I'd fit them in when I could.

We have been living in chaos whilst the dining room floor was sanded and varnished and I think I mentioned that Andrew was working two jobs for a couple of weeks so I let the "cheerfully" stuff slide a bit.

Saturday saw me having to attempt a self-portrait.

I SOOOO did not enjoy this as is evidenced by the first rather awkward photo of me.

I look like a woman in her forties.

How did that happen?!

I was also to write about what makes me beautiful.

You what now?

Couldn't think of a thing.

Completely stalled.

I do a great job wih my family but often feel like I am lurching from day to day without being fully present in the moment and any thoughts of myself are fleeting and quickly pushed aside to make space for cooking, tidying up and talking about sharks and whales!

This task will have to wait for another time.
Once I'd cringed enough at having to take photos of myself I finished my muffinmoon banner that now hangs in the summerhouse where I am hoping to do some sewing this summer.
Happy Tuesday to you all!

Friday 8 April 2011


Many a Friday looks like this: A bus trip into town to go to the market Photocopying mosaic sheets at the central library (OK, this was a one off!)
A visit to the bread stall for a cheese straw.
A cheese straw attack.
With gusto (and a side of insulin).

Happy Friday all!

Monday 4 April 2011

Spring is here!

Oh, and it feels good to have the (albeit Northern European) sun on my face and even sometimes on my arms!
We have been having chaotic times with :

  • the dining room emptied of all furniture, books and toys for a lovely guy called Jack to sand and varnish for us. It looks great but we have to wait a few days for it all to harden before life can return to normal.

  • Frank and then myself developing nasty colds and coughs.

  • Planting and digging in the garden (working on beetroot and spuds now)

  • Nature walks with my boy

  • rhubarb from the garden, which I'm going to stew with orange juice and have with yoghurt and granola. Drool, drool!

Happy Spring to you all!

P.S. I am intending to make a vlog sometime showing what we carry around with us. Jen and Reyna and others in the DOC have done great ones. I am going to wait until I get my voice back as I sound like I smoke forty a day with this cough!