I was raised in a religious manner. I know, most people wouldn’t have ever guessed, but it is true. It was a very strict religion – not great if you hate being told what to do. I have an opinion about religion which I won’t go into here. Well, I am a bit anti-religion, but I do have a spiritual belief. I believe in Nature, a Universal Life Force, that there must be something out there bigger than us and that everything is inter-connected. I think I might have made a very good Pagan.
One of the things I loved to do as a child (and still love to do) was to lie down on the ground and look at the clouds. I love watching the clouds move in the sky and changing shapes. It is as relaxing a thing to do as watching a fire, preferably in a fireplace. Sometimes I can even watch the clouds from my bed with the curtains open! Whenever I would see those big fluffy clouds with the sunbeams shining through, I would say that was God talking. I have no idea where I got that from but other people seem to have the same idea. I just Googled ‘God Talking’ and clicked on images and got stuff like this…
I took this while walking up towards Beachy Head. (The Beachy Head Pub as a matter of fact – they do a great Sunday roast lunch!) Sorry, I digress. Isn’t this beautiful? When you see the sky like this it can make one seem insignificant and make you believe that there is something much bigger out there. I know it is just a bunch of clouds with the sun peeking through and I am sure there is some scientific name for this sort of thing, but I don’t care. I just love when this happens.
If there is a God, this is what I think of when I see clouds like this. I think God is talking. It is time to pause and wonder and try and work out what it is he is trying to say. Maybe he is just letting us know that he is there, even on a cloudy day!
Sometimes I also think that maybe aliens are coming, like in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, or that it could be some sort of portal to another world. Beam me up Scotty! No, I really don’t believe that, but it would be a lot more interesting!
January has been practically tropical down here on the coast! Although the temperature has recently been dropping, we have had a fairly balmy winter. They don’t call this part of England the sunshine coast for nothing! 🙂 Eastbourne got the most sunshine in all of England in 2011. It says so here, so it must be true!
However, it is still winter and although it can start out gloriously sunny, it can also end up being cloudy and grey, or vice-versa. I still carry an umbrella around with me this time of year, as you never know… Though it will be completely useless in the wind. It does get windy here too! In any event, we get some amazing light and skies.
The next two photos were taken within minutes of each other. The sun was behind the cloud, ready to break out.
Yes, we still have flowers on the seafront!
The sun was really doing his best to shine through the clouds this day!
My random posts would not be complete without a photo of The Eastbourne Pier!
I am in love! With my new kitchen appliances. Yeah, yeah, I know that is a bit weird, but when you are faced with this every day…
This is the hideous and horrible and horrendous (but very clean!) old oven and hob. This is what was in my kitchen when I moved in nearly two years ago. This is an old-fashioned electric plate hob. I hate electric plate hobs. They take forever to heat up and take ages to cool down. I would sometimes forget to turn them off as you can’t tell if they are on! There is no control with these. For someone with control issues, this really sucks. I really like to be in control in the kitchen!
Please don’t judge the rest of the decor. I actually like the turquoise in my kitchen and when I redo the kitchen, I will probably have this colour on my walls.
This is what I have now!
I have a new oven, hob and fridge-freezer. They are so shiny and bright! I took these photos on a grey day and they were reflecting whatever light there was in the room!
There is a long story behind my new oven. It started 11 years ago, that’s how long this story is. I bought this top-of-the-line oven in the January 2000 sale to use in the house I moved into the month before. It never got used in my old house. In fact, it has been in dry storage, in all of its original packaging, for the last 11 years. It would still be in its original packaging today if my sweetie didn’t convince me to use it in my current kitchen. I am still working on a design for the kitchen and as I really have nowhere to store this lovely, shiny oven, it was really a good idea to install it and finally use it. After all, we didn’t even know if it would work! And he wanted something to do!
The old, white oven worked fine. It was just old, and white. So, my sweetheart installed the new oven, the timer worked, but when we turned it on, it kept tripping out the mains. That man spent hours on that thing trying to work out what the problem was but it wasn’t happening. So, the old oven went back in, until the following week. This time he had extra tools with him. When testing all the parts, they seemed to work fine, but when it came time to connect the darn thing and turn it on, phewt, the power was tripped out! Now, a lesser man would have thrown in the towel, but no, not this one! He waited, and he thought, and he tried one more thing, and it worked! All it needed was a new connecting cable to the mains as the existing one, although adequate for the old oven, didn’t work with the new oven. Who knew? If it was an afterthought, it was because we were working with an 11-year-old appliance that had never been used. Who knows what might have happened to it while it was being stored and moved around? Anyway, the man is a genius!
In the process of installing the new oven, we discovered that there was a gas point to connect a gas hob! Hellooo!!! Who in their right mind would really choose to install electric hobs when they could be cooking with gas???? Anyway, I decided to buy a new gas hob (stove, for my Americans) in the January 2012 sales, and throw in a new fridge-freezer to boot.
One would think that purchasing kitchen appliances would be a piece of cake. It isn’t. There are too many choices. Too many brands. Too many energy ratings. Too many sizes! Fortunately, I had already done the research on the gas hob last year when I was looking at new kitchens. I wanted one with a wok burner. The size was pre-determined as I had to use it in my existing space. I really wanted 5 burners, but that meant a larger size and I couldn’t have that without ripping out my kitchen to make room for a larger extractor fan. Anyway, I cooked for a family of 5 and had numerous dinner parties with up to 10 people over a period of 25 years with only 4 burners. Now that there is only me and the sweetheart and occasional guest, I think I can manage with just 4 burners, as long as one of them was a wok burner!
I also wanted an American sized fridge. I just don’t have the space for it at this time and not without ripping out the whole kitchen. I am not ready to re-do the kitchen as I haven’t found a design plan I am totally happy with. Anyway, I have also lived without a huge fridge-freezer for over 25 years so it isn’t going to hurt me now! I just need something bigger than what I had. I had such a dinky freezer that there really wasn’t much room to freeze anything. For someone who is used to cooking for an army, I want to be able to freeze leftovers so I don’t have to cook so much!
I did so much research on fridge-freezers that my eyeballs and head wanted to explode! Here is my method. First I went to a couple of appliance retailers to see what they had on offer. That took me a few hours. I then narrowed it down to style, colour and size and the fact that they needed to be frost-free. This narrowed down my choices. Then I left it till the next day where I spent the whole day online researching and pricing the items. I even created a spreadsheet with pictures so I could easily compare items. Being a visual person, this was really helpful to me. On the third day, I contacted local distributors to get the best price. On the fourth day, I made the order. Yes, it took me four days to buy a fridge-freezer and gas hob. It was exhausting. This is what I used to do when ordering kitchens when I had my design and construction business. I really love my new fridge-freezer. It has more than twice the amount of storage space than I previously had and is only 60cm wide, the size of a kitchen cabinet. At just over 180cm tall, I almost need a step-ladder to reach the back of the top shelf! Best of all, it has a wine-rack inside!
My sweetie installed my gas hob for me. I love it so much! I am now cooking with gas! I am in control! To me, there is nothing sexier than a man who can and I am so happy to have one of those in my life. I let him help me cook. Well, just because he installed the appliances …..! Maybe I will let him have free reign of the kitchen next time. Maybe! 😉