21 February 2012

Image:Romans 12:2

I love cheesecake; I always have. Here are four ever-so random cheesecake stories for you.

My first encounter of cheesecake was as a child. As is often the case when you have young kids, my parents would have friends over for an evening rather than go out. More often than not it would be their friends Jack and Sue. It would be an evening of homebrew and ladies drinks in dainty glasses. Records would be playing and laughter and loud talking would filter up into my bedroom through the floorboards. I liked it when my parents had friends over for an evening. I was too young to be part of it, but there was something quite exciting about it all. That following morning the house would have a new aroma; cigarette smoke that Jack left behind. Egg cups full of vinegar would be placed around the living room working to mask the smell of stale tobacco. In the fridge would be the remains of a cheesecake, that would have been made for the previous evening. It was normally Morello Cherry, sometimes Blackcurrant. It was cheesecake made from a packet with a thick buttery digestive biscuit base. It's association with the previous evening made it somehow glamorous and sophisticated  in my eyes. It tasted divine.


Years ago, when I barely twenty, I went on holiday to LA with David and his family. We visited a restaurant called 'The Cheesecake Factory'. I can't recall what I had, but the dessert menu was ridiculously extensive and heavenly. Just cheesecake in every variety you could imagine. I wish I could visit again.


This story goes back probably goes back a couple of decades. A very dear friend of mine had a birthday. He loved cheesecake. A lot. So I went to the supermarket and bought him six frozen cheesecakes of different flavours. He was over the moon. How wacky we were back then.


Last year David threw a party to celebrate being forty. I played a DJ set that evening. It's something I rarely do, but when I do it is quite enjoyable. I put a hell of a lot of thought in my musical set. It's got to flow, have a variety of tunes and I always like to keep people on their toes by playing the unexpected. I'm sure people expected me to turn up with the Best Of Abba. I started my set with 'The Cheesecake Truck' song by King Missile. It's a somewhat surreal tune that lurks without reason in David's extensive record collection. I just like the fact someone wrote a song about cheesecake.

A Year Ago Today

19 February 2012

 Image: Stardaffs Photos
It was exactly a year ago today that I wrote my first Buttercup Days blog post. I'm quite amazed that I'm still writing them a year on. It's true that I've never been short of something to say.

When I started writing the blog I was a full-time stay-at-home mum. Yes, I'd work some evenings as you do when you have your own business; you never switch off completely but essentially the main part of my day was spent at home. I love being mum, it suits me down to the ground, but I like to have a creative output of sorts and that is what this blog provided for me back then.

Now, I'm busier than ever doing everything I did a year ago, but also working three part-time work shifts into the week. However, after a year of writing, recording and sharing it would be hard to just stop. I still have more to say. 

It's been a rather organic process. I never set out with a particularly clear idea of what I was going to do, let alone achieve. But scrolling back through the year I've recorded, I think that it  certainly gives a fairly accurate insight into life right now. I try to make my writings honest and to some extent varied. One thing I like about the blog is how it's become a record of the kids year too. I've always been rubbish at keeping photo albums so its a rather nice bi-product of writing a blog of this nature.

I’m no writer and certainly no photographer for that matter. So often much of what I write is done in done very quickly with posts just churned out whilst eating my lunch or having a cup of tea before the school run. The first draft is the final draft. I've had to except that I haven't the time to be a perfectionist when it come to blogging. But whatever I am waffling on about, I'm getting readers and that is just lovely. Over the last year I've had 6,476 hits and I've written 117 posts. It's not huge in the blogging world I know, but I'm quite pleased all the same.

So whatever the reason that drives you to drop by Buttercup Days; the family stuff; the recipes; the craft projects; the tunes or the occasional rants and moans, I'd like to thank you. It’s been a really enjoyable year.

Flower Power

14 February 2012

Image: House Plant Guru.

OK, even as I type this I know I'm adding unnecessary pressure by making such an early announcement. But hey, with something to prove I'm more likely to succeed right? 

Well here it is. This year I am going to grow cut flowers down the allotment. Loads of them. Beautiful varieties. Vases of blooms will fill my home all summer long and beyond. I'll give bunches to friends and neighbours if I have a 'glut'. Everyone will benefit (except for my local florist - sorry Lynette, but your beautiful shop has probably gone some way to ignite this passion within me).

I've much to learn. A lot. From scratch. But I've a great starting point. I've ordered my 'starter pack' of seeds from Higgledy Garden. Winging their way to me are no less than twenty varieties of seeds:
Amaranthus, Ammi Majus, Bupleureum, Calendula ‘Art Shades’,Carnation ‘Superb', Phlox ‘Grandiflora Mix’, Cornflowers ‘Blue Ball’,Cleome ‘Violet Queen’, Cosmos ‘Purity’, Cosmos ‘Sensation’, Godetia. ‘Double Crown Mix’, Gypsophilia. ‘Covent Garden’, Helianthus. ‘Earthwalker’,Larkspur Giant Imperials ‘Crown Blend Mix’, Lupin ‘Sunrise’, Aster ‘Ostrich Plumes’, Nicotinana ‘Lime Green’, Nigella. Love in the mist ‘Persian Jewels’, Ricinus, Scabiosa. Pin Cushion Flower Tall Crown Mix. Then I added a pack each of Sweet Pea Beaujolais and Sweet Pea Purfumed Delight as I just couldn't resist.

Higgledy Garden's customer service is second to none. Their blog is crammed full of useful information and tips so you feel you have someone to 'hold your hand' along the way.

It's all very exciting. Roll on Spring; I can't wait to get started!

Happy Birthday Dad

12 February 2012

Today is my dad's birthday. Rumour has it had he been born two days later he would have been called Valentine. I'm not sure how true this is, but the fact that my grandmother found the Italian actor Rudolph Valentino rather dashing makes this all the more likely it could have happened. However my dad came into the world on the 12th of February, so he was given the more conventional name of Robert.

So to mark this special day, I'm going to throw the Tune for Tuesday rules out of the window and dedicate the following song to my dad.

Happy Birthday - love you loads! x

And The Snow Fell (But Not Down Our Street)

5 February 2012

The weathermen had been warning us that snow was coming our way and it has been bitterly cold enough to expect it. Today was to be the day the country would wake up to snow. So when I woke this morning and drew back the curtains ready to be greeted by a thick white blanket that would cover our street, I was momentarily disappointed. Nothing. 

Well, not to worry; snow has a habit of hanging around and causing nothing but problems anyway. So we decided to head out in the car to do a bit of retail research for our forthcoming building / decorating project. 

Just a few blocks down the road we began to see cars carrying thick snow on their bonnets. Must be snow nearby somewhere then. By the time we had driven just four minutes from our home we saw it. Snow covering the ground. A further four minutes on and the parks and gardens were all white. How on earth had the snow missed our street? We abandoned our trip and drove home to change into suitable snow garments and headed back out to Stanmer Park in Brighton, barely a 15 minute drive from home. There the kids threw snowballs and made a snowman. We had a bit of 'winter' and then drove home to the street with no snow for bread and soup.