The Books I Read in 2012


Food Glorious Food

For the past three weeks I've been receiving an organic veg box delivery at the office from Riverford. I used to get deliveries from them before I moved aboard the boat and thought I'd trial run having them come to the office. So far it's worked out really well but I can foresee problems if I ever have plans to go out straight from the office especially as the box is delivered on Fridays.

They now offer meat as well as veg so I get a mixed box which has seen me not really needing to top up grocery shop for the past few weeks and I have been loving the new flavours and recipes this has allowed me to explore.

From thai meatball curry (thickened with crushed almond so not for the dieter) to crushed broad been bruschetta, there hasn't been a dull moment really.

On the home grown front, this year's experiment has been Bright Lights Swiss Chard, they are tiny seedlings at the moment but I can clearly see that they are multicoloured and hopefully they look and taste stunning when grown to maturity. I have also been lucky enough to harvest 4 or 5 strawberries with more in the pot this season. Constant endless rain has been giving most everything else a hard time. The lettuce is struggling on but isn't maturing as fast as it should be because it's sitting in patty field style water logged soil a lot of the time.

For anyone else out there shopping at farmers markets or receiving veg boxes, I highly recommend this recipe for carrot top tabbouleh.

Reading List 2011


The 2010 Reading List


How the Weeks Roll On

God Bless Hawaii
Originally uploaded by inkognitoh
As I have some rare and luxurious internet time with a real computer and proper wifi, I thought I'd check in with everyone at LiveJournal. I confess, that I gave up reading the Friends List entries as most of them consisted of stern warnings and pleas in relation to this cross posting and linked accounts malarkey. There is nothing like massed high dudgeon to make me want to leave the room, even if it is a virtual one.

Work is boring me witless but as we are in the middle of an office move, that is jazzing things up a little to be sure. It has to be said, I don't enjoy packing and crating my desk to have it hauled across the road but, hey, with the extra rounds of redundancies occuring in the banking industry at the moment, I'm very lucky to have an office move to whinge about it seems.

Loaded up on chemicals today as I had most of my innoculations for the November holiday in Zanzibar. Who knew ten days in equatorial Africa would be so life threatening. Alongside Typhoid, Hep A, Dyptheria and Tetanus shots, recommedations were made for Hep B and Yellow Fever vaccinations plus warnings about Rabbies and Cholera. So much for a relaxing stint on the beach...

Did I mention the course of anti-malarials?

Where am I spending my online time when I'm not on Twitter.com? I'm enjoying my time with Goodreads.com; finding it a great way to get my reading on. I'm finding it exactly the right kind of motivation I need to keep the pages turning. Still find it a tad overwhelming that everyone in the free world reads faster than I do and the regular friends updates from that site reinforce that a bit.

I'm also still enjoying a love affaiar with Estorbo. I forgheen lorf heem.

We Were Never Being Boring

I've been uploading dozens of old photos I brought back from Australia as not only would I like to get them online to share with the various suspects in them, I also wanted to present the other aspects of my life to the people I've met since I've been on the road and those I've met primarily online. It's been quite an emotional journey as like everyone, I've changed a lot over the years. Internally more than externally.

The weather is really dragging me down at the moment. I'm not yet prepared for the end of summer and the cold, grey, damp drizzle which has set in. It makes life more of a chore than it needs to be and allows the cat to tramp mud through the house in my absence.

Most of my online time is now spent at Twitter which is exactly the sort of short, sharp witty banter I need on the massive commutes I'm currently undertaking and is easy enough to play with on the iPhone. I still haven't caved in to a wireless internet dongle for home although I've come close lately. The longer I can hold off on that the better I'll be as any of the spare time I now spend reading, gardening or knitting will be consumed with 'dicking around online'.

Big summer BBQ and camp out happened a couple of weekends ago. It was nice to catch up with all of those people I met there last year and even nicer because I craftily positioned myself to be in the area and brought the boat down rather than set the tent up! I drove my house to a party, beat that land lubbers.

Things to look forward to? Winter sun holiday to Zanzibar in the works and the second Eastern European ski trip is on the cards (Slovakia this time). So little time, so many holidays etc.

Blowing With the Jasmine in my Mind

Reading on the Roof
Originally uploaded by inkognitoh
I've been to Australia and back since my last update, isn't that crazy. Anyway, home with the family was pretty wonderful. Attending the first birthday party of my great niece was even more wonderful. I covered some ground while at home this time too. Heading up to the Red Centre, climbing Kings Canyon and even a roadtrip to Byron Bay. Lots of good proper countryside views around Bathurst as well.

Life has been rolling along just so. I've either been hella busy or wholly lazy. I could probably find balance by having moderately busy weeks/ends with planned relaxation time but that simply isn't my stile. Life is all or nothing for me.

Lola has made her first proper kill and managed to drag an entire moorhen onboard but thankfully not through the vent acting as a cat flap. The bird was about as big as she was and I was torn between pride and horror. I believe we have also decimated the entire shrew population at Rickmansworth as she has stopped bringing their carcasses home.

I'm currently about as far west as I'm going to go this summer before I turn tail and head back toward Central London for the winter. I've hovered out in the outskirts a little longer this year as I've had a wedding, a couple of parties and the big summer BBQ and campaganza at Blackjacks to attend. I will miss the countrysideishness of these far flung moorings.

I'm in a rhythm with the long commutes, wake up, sleepwalk to the train, read for an hour and a half before arriving at work to shower and get on with the earning of the money. I usually fall asleep for a portion of the return journey, more due to stuffy heat than anything I think. I get a couple of hours to laze about and make something to eat in the evenings and it has been a really nice summer this year for evenings.

Don't Lean on Me Man Cause You Can't Afford the Ticket

I voted tonight, for the first time since I've lived in Briatin - about ten years now. I don't know why I didn't vote in the last election or any local elections to date but I'm guessing it has something to do with the subconcious belief that I've only ever been here temporarily, just travelling through. The longer I stay, the harder that is for even me to believe. This year, this election felt very different and the world is a different place. I believe we're at the beginning of a period of massive global change which will be difficult and challenging for most of us to live through but will become but a paragraph in a text book hundreds of years from now.

I've voted tactically for the first time in my life as well. A satisfactory outcome for me would be the hung parliament scenario, which once I understood I embraced and am yearning for. Something about helping to bring that scenario about makes me feel like I've been destructive/anarchistic while at the same time constructive as the hung parliament model is really true democracy in action. We'll see whether I wake up in my ideal world tomorrow eh?

I survived my Spanish oral exam - just barely - as the class partner I'd been working with and spent many hours on Skype and in person practicing with called in sick on the day and I had to hand the teacher our script and have her read it out. No pressure there then! I have one more lesson before the written and listening exam and I really need to pull my study pencil out if I have a half a chance of understanding even a small portion of that.

Lola's new collars arrived today. They are vivid fuscia and have I LIVE ON A BOAT printed on them along with my phone number. She is out and about rampaging without the great medallion I forced her to wear last week after she lost her collar with the normal sized information disc attached to it. The Flava Flav sytle disc dangling from her neck was the kitten equivalent of specs and callipers so you can imagine the joie de vivre with which she's galloping about right now.

I will miss the build up and the back and forth of this election. Spending my nights online with the Twitteratti during the Leaders Debates and musing over each scandalous and scurrilous turn of events has entertained me no end. I guess I won't really have long to lick my wounds over the results as it's all hands on deck to prepare for this years big Australia trip at the end of May.

Wham, bam, thank you mam!

What? I am studying... a bit

Originally uploaded by inkognitoh
My goodness there is nothing like having exams looming to drive one to LiveJournal is there? Since taking and uploading this photo, Lola (who the eccentric posh bloke I'm moored next to calls 'La La')has even had enough of me noodling about and has stalked off out back to sleep on the pile of fresh towels where she can stare out of the window at dogs. I still have the Twitter tab open though and have now cranked up the radio to enjoy Lady Gaga at volumes an almost middle aged woman shoud definitely not be playing pop music at...

I swear I only juiced the generator up to get online so that I could listen to and model some Spanish conversations in the future conditional future tense as I have to meet my partner later this afternoon to pull together a conversation of sorts. It turns out, my whole system fights the studying process with gusto, which explains a lot about the mediocrity of my school and work life. My attention span is great when I'm staring into space or attempting to work out the nuances of a Reality TV programme but not so great when I need to learn.

Otherwise it's been a quiet week.


Almost Spring
Originally uploaded by inkognitoh
I directed someone to my boat yesterday by describing it as 'the one with the dead daffodils on the roof' and that led me to remember the daffs in all their glory only a few weeks back now. We had had such a long hard winter that the bulbs surged up quickly and aggressively. They were beautiful in their fury but their moment has definitely passed.

When I took this photo, I had grand designs on blogging about the winter and the hardships it brung but never got around to it for whatever reason.