Monthly Archives: July 2011

Onions, anyone!

On a  recent trip to my father’s allotment, I came across these kings of the vegetable patch.

On guard!

I could not get over how beautiful these onions were. They stood tall and proud.

Here are some drying in the sun.

Hanging onions

This spectacular display attracted much attention from other allotment goers!

Drying onions

 Seemingly not satisfied enough with the huge amount of white onions, my father had also sown red onions, which he harvested when I was there.

Fresh red onions from the ground.

 Once my father picked the red onions, he set about putting them into storage, in his purpose-built shed. The smell coming out of the shed was overwhelming!

Storing red onions

There were enough onions to feed an army! I am expecting a lot of French onion soup to be served up to us on our upcoming visits in the autumn!

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Filed under Family, food, Garden

Drip drip drop…

little April showers. This Bambi classic is a new favourite with the children. I love watching their reaction to the sounds in this song. Olwyn goes about the house singing “drip drip drop” to herself.

One evening, I enjoyed going out into the garden and taking photographs of the rain drops on the plants and flowers.

The children loved splashing in the muddy puddles :)

splish splash

Now – Rain, rain go away and come again another day!

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Filed under Family

What deadline?!

I am due to present my first research paper in just under three weeks to a potential audience of 100 people. Among those attending could be some of the leading academics in my field. So, no pressure! Although I am nearly ready with my paper, there have been prolonged bouts of procrastination! You’d think I would have learned by now, at this stage of my academic life, but sadly not. I remember many a late night spent panicking, trying to throw together an essay or cramming for an exam. Even though I have put many hours into this paper, there have been days and nights when it has been difficult to focus and I thought that I would never reach my deadline.

Here are my top things I do when procrastinating:

  1. Make copious photocopies of periodical articles and highlight paragraphs in said articles until look like they have been assaulted by a five-year old with a highlighter pen.
  2. Organise notes and articles. Do a general clean up of thesis papers from the last two years. This includes files on the hard-drive.
  3. Wander aimlessly through the university library, browsing through books. Perhaps have a little snooze on a comfy couch, if another procrastinator has already stolen a spot. This usually kills a few hours.
  4.  Write a blog. Check site stats. Check site stats. Check site stats.

    I am sure this does not just apply to me!

  5. Go on Facebook and press the refresh button every five minutes, almost willing people to upload photographs!
  6. Spend time with the children because I feel guilty they are going to forget who I am if I am not at home.
  7. Bake, cook, garden. Take photographs of it all and post a blog on WordPress.
  8. Clean the crap of the bookshelf which acts as our repository for bills, important letters etc. which has accumulated for three months. It’s not like it cannot wait another few weeks, right?
  9. Clean the walls and skirting boards. Somehow procrastination makes me see all the streaks, dust and dirt in the house and I MUST clean it.
  10. Go to bed. I blame this partly on my children waking me at 6am every morning. So my excuse is that my brain does not function past 9pm.

My research desk - note a WordPress blog on the computer!

Then the guilt overwhelms me, the panic sets in and I throw myself into it. Back to reality…

What do you do to waste time when you should be doing something important?

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Filed under research

Dad’s delights

We went to visit my father last weekend. We always leave stuffed to the gills due to the good food consumed. A great effort is always made to make sure we eat well. This weekend was no exception. My husband, Peter, likes to raid the cheese drawer in the fridge. I should explain that since my father is Swiss, he is a keen cheese lover (as is Peter). Peter was not disappointed when he stumbled upon a stinky, creamy, gooey gorgonzola. This cheese was so runny. The smell was so strong that it could singe nose hairs and although a cheese lover can appreciate that a strong-smelling cheese is indicative of a good flavour, this cheese’s smell was maybe a bit too intense. It did not deter us from putting lashings of it on a french stick. Butter was not required due to the cheese’s creaminess. It tasted divine. So smooth and salty.

My other favourite thing I had to eat was a starter salad. The previous day my dad took us to the Milk Market Limerick. It was a great experience with many sights and smells of fruit, vegetables, fish, baked goods, meats, cheeses, coffee etc. Of course, when we first walked in we were met by a magnificent fruit stall. The figs looked sumptuous so Peter bought enough to feed an army. We rambled through the stalls tasting here and there. I especially liked the food stall selling dried salamis and cured meats. My dad bought a creamy goat’s cheese and a mixed berry tart. That had us sorted! So the next day, we had this starter.

It consisted of fresh salad from the garden topped with grated kohl rabi (also from the garden), a halved fig, a sprinkling of crumbled goat’s cheese. I picked some red currants to add a bit of colour. A nice Dijon vinaigrette was drizzled over the plate and served.

For main course we had fresh lemon sole which we bought at the market, served with new potatoes from the garden and my dad’s homemade tartar sauce. The fish was tossed in flour and fried in the pan for a few minutes.

Despite all the glorious food I had consumed, I made sure I had enough space left for that berry tart staring at me from the counter!

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Filed under Family, food