Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Happy Birthday, Happy 5 years in London and Temporarily Homeless

Yes, today is my birthday and I have once again timed my birthday perfectly with moving house.  While we're at it, tomorrow marks my being in London for 5 whole years - who woulda thought!

So the removalists have taken the last of our boxes to storage, where they will stay for 1 whole month until our new flat is vacated.  We will be housesitting for some friends in North London (an area we've always wanted to live, but never really can because of Ben's work being in the South of England), so we're very much looking forward to a change of scenery - but most of all i'm exciting about moving into our lovely new flat.

We have always wanted to live in a few different areas around London (this will be my 5th (Beckenham, Tower Hill, Hammersmith, West Kensington!!!), to really get a feel for all of the diversity this city has to offer.  Given we have a few friends down this end of town and the plethora of cool things to do, it was a natural progression for us.  (However, don't get me started about the hellish tube journey I will now face every day!).

A few things we're mostly looking forward to:

- Our new Cinema where we will promptly become members (and try to see something new every week - top of the list - Red Dog and Buck)
- Spending our Saturday mornings wandering Venn Street Market (and eating lots of delish fresh Street Food)
- Being literally across the road from Clapham Common - where we intend to excercise, picnic and eavesdrop on music from the fab festivals (like Ben & Jerry's!)
- Embrace Pride House London which will also be on the Common throughout the Olympics this year
- Spend many an evening meal and Sunday afternoon at the Windmill Pub, again literally across the road from our house
- Have a proper look around Brixton to finally find Brixton Village (instead of getting lost and giving up like on previous occassions!)

Our bright and light living room (sans Piano, actually none of that furniture is ours!)

Ummm, those bright blue cabinets don't exist any more (phew...), unfortunately, the yellow oven does!

The view from our living room (that's the Windmill pub you can see through the trees on the left)! I apologise for the ugly wintery-ness of this, but just keepin it real!

Our building behind the blue car - our flat is the top floor!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Flourless Chocolate Brownies

As a couple, Ben and I don't really buy into the crazy commercialism that Valentines Day has now transpired to, however, I do like the idea of having a particular reason to to do something a little bit special for my love.  So alas, we spent our Valentines evening with a pizza, a few more episodes of Forbrydelsen II (The Killing - Danish version - first season totally awesome, 2nd i'm not so sure...) and as a bit of a surprise, I whipped up these bad boys whilst Ben was out on his run - what more to bring out a touch of romance than wallking into a house smelling of chocolatey baking goodness?

I particularly chose this recipe as it's flourless (ie gluten free) - which as a rule, anything that is "flourless/gluten free" is then loaded up with another poison - Sugar (we'll save that for another blog post shall we!)...  So it went well with my "Gluten Free" Hell Pizza!

This recipe should come with a warning (but in hindsight, knowing it was a Nigella recipe, I should have known it would be nothing but rich and over the top), it is seriously delicious, but you really don't need to be eating a whole lot in one sitting!

And of course, I totally didn't think to take my own photos, so you will have to make do with the delicious one above :)

I'm also giving you the link to the much prettier version of the recipe on Nigella's website.  NB. I also made the chocolate sauce, but was so unimpressed with it that I don't feel it warrants including in this recipe - all you need is a nice scoop of your favourate vanilla icecream!


225g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)

225g butter

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

200g caster sugar

3 eggs, beaten

150g ground almonds

100g chopped walnuts


Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3. Melt the chocolate and butter gently over a low heat in a heavy-based saucepan. 

Take the pan off the heat, mix in the vanilla and sugar, and let it cool a little. 

Beat the eggs into the pan along with the ground almonds and chopped walnuts. Turn into a 24cm square baking tin or, most sensibly, use a foil one. 

Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, by which time the top will have set but the mixture will still be gooey. Once cooler, cut carefully, four down, four across, into 16 squidgybellied squares.

Sunday, 12 February 2012


As my 5th year of living in the UK approaches, i'm yet again staring at these packing boxes, anticipating my 5th move, the 2nd of which that will happen on my actual birthday (how DOES that keep happening???).  When I think back over those 5 years, it's hard to believe how my life has changed (ummm, meeting and marrying the most amazing man i've ever met for a start!). I still can't really believe that i've been here so long - it was certainly not the original plan.  

But, with this moves comes a little more certainty for the future... we have finally decided that after our lease expires in June 2013 (less than 18 months away!!), we'll be setting our sights for our home soil of Aus!!! (yahoo, yippee!!!)  

So now our attention turns to enjoying this last year or so in the UK, making sure we tick off all of those places on the "to do" list!  

2007...First Euro trip - Amsterdam

2008...still the best trip EVER - Minori, Amalfi Coast, Italy

2009...First white Christmas! The Lake District

2009...the year my life changed forever!

2010... we cycled around the Loire Valley, France

2011... We got Married!

2012... lots of plans for our last year in Europe!!!

images above via google images...