Last week I said I felt we were turning towards Christmas and that theme has continued this week. I've even bought my first Christmas present (which wasn't even for me) so it's official, the Christmas shopping has started! I've been out and about a fair bit this week too, there was an early trip into town on Tuesday for a work conference, which took place in the Shoreditch Courthouse Hotel which in its pre-hotel days was where the Kray brothers were held. It plays on that today, although is much swisher than it was then I'm sure, and the loos in the bar have faux bars on the windows. You'll never believe it but I didn't even take any pictures - not quite sure what I was thinking.
Wednesday evening I headed off to a blog event over in the new Homesense store in Merton, and it was great to do some shopping. I gathered goodies for a Christmas hamper and I'll be sharing that soon. I also picked up some new Christmas decorations following my post on the Homesense Christmas range, reminded me just how sparkly new baubles can be.
And as a finale of my Christmas-ness I headed off to the Ideal Home Show at Christmas over at Olympia on Saturday - it was smaller than the Spring Ideal Home Show, but I had a good wander round, and left with my first Christmas present too. I'd asked MOH if he wanted to come along, but his plan was to make his Christmas puddings instead, so our plan was to crack on with our separate missions on Saturday morning. But after another long and busy week, and a late tea the night before it wasn't quite as early as we'd planned, but never mind.
We'd been over to to a memorial rugby match at Rectory Fields to see the university team play. It's local to us and made a change to head over to the ground, I think in all the time we've lived here we've only been once, maybe twice before. Of course, it was the chilliest evening for a while, it would be wouldn't it? But it wasn't so cold that we couldn't hold our beer.
There's been more post, the tarpaulins we'd ordered for the pizza oven and allotment arrived, and they're big and heavy, but also the weave reminded me of a pixelated image. They're patiently waiting in the conservatory to be used, so hopefully the weather will wait for us too.
Our builder was here early on Wednesday morning too going over and reviewing the quote for the work on our conservatory. We'd seen the bi-fold doors and had a much clearer idea of how we want to proceed. We've still to confirm we're going ahead and prices, but he's done work for us before which we've been pleased with, so it's likely that we'll be taking the plunge early next year. Eek. This could be the final phase of work on our house, who knows?!
On hibiscus-watch, last week we moved it alongside the conservatory into a more sheltered spot, and with a couple of frosts this week I was glad we had. The hibiscus seems quite happy too, as it now has three more flowers on it which I'm sure it's not supposed to - I've a feeling this hibiscus and hibiscus-watch could be after a post of its own at some point.
When I'd ordered the shopping - I always do our main shop online as i) going to the supermarket is dull and ii) when we do go to the supermarket (as I don't see why I should go alone as we both eat the food) usually MOH rams me at least once with the trolley, so I get grumpy and sore ankles, but anyway, I'd ordered a camembert in a box. I'd seen some recipes in a recent Olive for baked camembert with toppings - and for once I had the ingredients for one of those toppings.
Or close enough anyway.
The recipe called for frozen cranberries (tick - yes I know, random, it seems they'd been in the freezer since 2015 - oops!), caster sugar (an easy tick), port (well yes, but we opened a mystery bottle, possibly marsala, instead) and thyme (well, I had dried...) Those ingredients went into a saucepan while the camembert went in the oven. Served with some green salad and a French stick, it made a great lunch.
So good in fact, that I've added another camembert (or two) to my shopping which will arrive just before Christmas. Baked camembert could just become my favourite lunch, you know the sort that looks like you've made an effort, but you haven't really!
I've made some headway on my Christmas crafts too, some anyway. All of my boxes for our Advent calendar are cut. I've the rest of this week to get them stuck, filled and strung up - or faffed about with as MOH rightly says. I've tasked him with buying some of the fillers too, we'll see what he comes up with, I've some more fillers to buy too, so I'll see what I come up with too!
So this week will, no doubt, be just as busy and just as much fun, I hope - and it's ending with a day off, which I'm looking forward too. I've a list of things as long as my arm, which it's unlikely I'll get through, but I'm hoping to have fun trying
At some point early this week we do have to go to an actual supermarket but I'm hoping that as we're heading for the drinks aisle it won't be as dire as I remember (and I'm really hoping not to get rammed with a trolley) Although shopping with MOH for booze brings other challenges, he wants to read and ponder and I want to take the trolley dash approach and choose nice labels.
Well they say opposites attract don't they?!