Monday, 27 February 2012

A 'cluster' of scooters

What do you call half a dozen scooters waiting for their boys to come and ride them? A clutch? A group? A pile? A flock? A herd? I don't know but I think a 'cluster' sounds good.

On a recent Sunday afternoon, rather cool and threatening to rain, I went with a couple of other adults and took our Sunday School boys to the 'dinosaur' park for a couple of hours of 'scootering'. Dinosaur refers to the fact that the slide is in the form of a large dinosaur and boy, do the kids love it. Once upon a time there was also a tearooms decked out like Noah's Ark but that is gone now unfortunately, but there are snake swings and a large whale for climbing over as well as other imaginative climbing stuff and of course the skateboard/scooter/bike course.

We started with a bite of lunch, we bought chips to supplement the lunches the boys had brought with them and we were soon joined by the inevitable gulls on the scavenge. I think they probably got as much of the lunch as the boys ate. Then it was off to the scooter track - oh boy. What fun. Round and round, up hill and down hill, jumps and other stuff that only little boys know how to do.  Challenging each other and doing 'sets' and generally showing off. Real male bonding stuff. It was great seeing them all interacting together.

The youngest two got tired before the others and eventually had us pushing  swings and helping them onto climbing equipment. All in all it was a good afternoon though.

Did I say the girls didn't come? They were going to, they arrived at church with their scooters but in the end opted to go to the 'Party in the park' with their parents and do more girly stuff like face painting and balloon animals and other much more genteel activities. No doubt we'll hear all about it next Sunday.                               

 Wishing you all a wonderful week.                                 

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Aaachoo! - bless you :(

I woke up yesterday morning to what I thought was just another Summers (?) day. But no. The sky was a little cloudy and the wind was blowing gustily. It was reasonably warm, but not really summer temperatures.
And then I started to sneeze. And the nose ran. And the eyes got itchy. And I sneezed some more. Not pleasant at all. Now this is not uncommon for me for the first week or two of summer, but near the end?  No thank-you, sir. I thought I was going to have to make a trip to the pharmacy for anti-histamines but put it off. Thank goodness. No sneezing or runny nose or itchy eyes today. It had to be something windborne.

 But then, to add insult to injury, a little later in the day Claude decided to climb up on me for a bit of a cuddle and a smoodge.  
Now this is not something he normally does with me, he usually prefers my GKB to sit on.
That wasn't a problem but shortly after he departed I discovered I had come out in big welts on my neck and chin and was hot and itchy where he had been smoodging! Not a pretty sight :(
Allergic reaction! After 10 years I suddenly become allergic to the cat? Poor me, poor Claude! The welts and the burning redness are gone now - thank goodness, again :D) In future he can confine his smoodging to the GKB.

I thought I'd post the recipe for the pavlova we had at Christmas on our dessert table. It's very sugary and sweet and was created and named in honour of the ballerina Pavlova who performed here last century.
(It is a dessert also made in Australia where they say that we stole the recipe from them but we kiwi's know it was originally ours of course - ha ha.)
Anyway, whatever, if you have a sweet tooth, or are male, you will enjoy it.

3 large egg whites
Beat until stiff then add 3 tbsp cold water.
Beat until stiff again.
Add one cup of sugar slowly.
When dissolved add one tsp cornflour, one tsp vinegar,
 one tsp vanilla essence and a pinch of salt.
Beat until peaks form and mixture doesn't tip out of bowl when held upside down.

Spread baking paper on a flat oven tray .
Tip mixture onto tray and mold.

Put into previously heated oven and bake
between 300 - 325 degs. F. for 20 minutes.
 Turn oven off and leave overnight.

Decorate with whipped cream and strawberries
or other fruit or choc chips etc. 

We usually serve it with ice cream and fruit salad but I guess it really just depends on personal taste.